Bloomberg jabs at Comcast on anniversary of NBC deal approval


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Business media giant Bloomberg LP is marking the upcoming one-year anniversary of the government’s approval of Comcast Corp.’s acquisition of NBCUniversal to remind regulators that it thinks the cable giant is disrespecting the feds.

Bloomberg, parent of business news channel Bloomberg Television, thinks that Comcast should be required to put the Bloomberg channel near its main competitor CNBC on its cable systems. Bloomberg has argued practically since the day Comcast announced its deal with NBCUniversal that it feared the cable giant would favor NBC’s CNBC financial channel over Bloomberg on its systems, which reach more than 20 million consumers.


Last June, Bloomberg filed a complaint against Comcast at the Federal Communications Commission arguing that the conditions of the government’s approval of the Comcast-NBCUniversal deal require Bloomberg to be moved closer so it can be in the same ‘neighborhood’ as CNBC. The FCC is still reviewing the matter and no timetable is set for a ruling.

‘Marking yesterday’s one-year anniversary of the FCC’s Order approving Comcast’s blockbuster acquisition of NBC Universal, it’s time for Comcast to live up to the bargain it accepted to secure its merger,’ said Greg Babyak, head of government affairs for Bloomberg LP. ‘Rather than continue to watch Comcast thumb its nose at the FCC and the American viewing public, the FCC should immediately require Comcast to stick to commitments, and implement the plain language of the order, including the news neighborhooding condition.’

Comcast has countered that the FCC’s conditions do not require it to move Bloomberg closer to CNBC.

‘If Comcast were forced to do what Bloomberg is asking the government to mandate, millions of customers would be subject to disruption and confusion required by massive channel realignments to benefit a thriving $30 billion media company,’ a Comcast spokeswoman said. ‘The FCC carefully crafted its moderate, forward looking condition precisely to avoid this type of upheaval.”

And no, Comcast didn’t thank Bloomberg for remembering the anniversary.


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-- Joe Flint