Variety

What 50 Congressmen Want Comcast to Do as a Condition of Buying Time Warner Cable

Aug 4, 2014  •  Post A Comment

“Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) and 52 other House lawmakers” have written a letter to Comcast, asking the media giant to make a certain commitment if it gets approval to buy Time Warner Cable, Variety reports.

The story says that the “lawmakers are asking Comcast to make a commitment to carry Latino-focused channels. … In a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, the lawmakers contend that the newly merged company will reach over 90% of the Latino households in the United States.”

In the letter the lawmakers add, according to Variety, “For years, the nation’s largest mainstream program providers have continued to attract available channel capacity and fees from cable and satellite providers while independent program providers struggle to gain access to channels, let alone fees, for their program offerings.”

The article notes: “Comcast’s Executive Vice President David L. Cohen defended its offerings of Latino-focused content in a letter to the lawmakers, calling it ‘best in class in the industry.’ But he also seemed to suggest that the pending merger could be used as an opportunity by ‘parochial business interests.’ Comcast may face additional commitments before the [Federal Communications Commission] as it conducts a public interest review of the transaction.

“‘Through the transaction with Time Warner Cable, we are committed to bringing high-quality Hispanic content to millions of additional Americans,’ he wrote. ‘My only caveat is that the importance of independent and Hispanic programming, which we are excelling at delivering, should not be confused by parochial business interests seeking more money and distribution for themselves.’”

The story adds, “In Comcast’s letter Cohen noted that the company distributes more than 60 Latino networks in Spanish and English and, since the NBCU merger, launched two new independent networks, El Rey and Baby First Americas with Latino ownership and management.

” ‘ Since 2011, Comcast has expanded the total distribution of seven Hispanic programming networks by more than 14 million subscribers,’ he wrote. ‘This exceeds by more than 40 percent our commitment in the NBCUniversal transaction to expand three Hispanic networks by 10 million subscribers.’”

To read more details about this story we urge you to click on the link in our first paragraph, above, which will connect you to the Variety story.

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3 Comments

  1. All these “Politicos” are trying to do is attract Hispanic voters…period.

    Rather than bringing on even more Hispanic speaking channels, how about having Hispanic oriented channels that only speak English? It is the language of our land, ( or at least it used to be).

    Every nationality should maintain their history. Except for WW-I and WW-II, I am proud of my German heritage. My ancestors migrated here in the 1870′s, came through Ellis Island and assimilated themselves into the American Experience AND learned the language.

    I may know Spanish, but I do not speak it, especially around those who do and refuse, after many years, to learn English.

    I will add this question to these ambitious politicians, what about the networks for the Swedes, the Italians, the French, the Portuguese etc. ?
    Peter Bright

  2. Thanks, elected officials, but I can’t imagine them not offering channels that attract paying customers. But knowing how politicians like to kiss up, they’re probably willing to subsidize them if Comcast won’t pay ‘fair’ carrying charges. Instead, how about a including a mandatory corporate pledge to support “net neutrality” now and forever, that’s dependent upon getting approval?

  3. This proposed merger is NOT in the public interest and should NOT be allowed. Period. That said, I’m sure the approval will be forthcoming fairly soon no matter how much opposition or public protest. After all, the FCC is now the Federal Communications Corporation, a subsidiary of K-Street.

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