ABC, CBS, Fox Affils In Deal With Comcast

The station groups agree not to fight the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger with a series of conditions that would bar Comcast from discriminating in favor of NBCU-owned or operated stations over retransmission consent — and other issues — for 10 years after the TWC deal closes.

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The ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates have agreed not to oppose Comcast’s $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable in exchange for commitments from the giant NBCU owner not to discriminate against broadcast stations owned by others — or to lobby against retransmission consent, according to a Dec. 23 affiliate filing at the FCC.

Under the deal, the TWC acquisition would include a series of conditions that would bar Comcast from discriminating in favor of NBCU-owned or operated stations over retransmission consent — and other issues — for 10 years after the TWC deal closes.

Among other things, the conditions require Comcast to negotiate retransmission consent deals in good faith, without any collaboration with NBCU, according to the affiliate filing.

Under yet another key provision in the deal, Comcast has agreed not to roil the waters by lobbying against retransmission consent.

Similar conditions were included in Comcast’s acquisition of NBCU in 2011, but those conditions are slated to expire in 2018.

 A source close to the negotiations said the affiliates are continuing to urge the FCC to include yet another condition in the deal that would bar Comcast from negotiating retransmission consent deals jointly with multichannel video providers that Comcast doesn’t own. But Comcast has not agreed to accept that condition. So the affiliates have asked the FCC to decide whether to include the additional condition or not, the source said.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

“The affiliates felt that if broadcasters can’t conduct joint retransmission consent negotiations with other stations, then cable shouldn’t be able to negotiate deals with other cable operators either,” a source close to the negotiations said.


Comments (6)

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kendra campbell says:

December 24, 2014 at 8:44 am

Fox in the hen house deal.

Angie McClimon says:

December 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

They aren’t known to kiss ass like this.

Raymond Pope says:

December 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

Utterly meaningless horseshit. This merger is bad news for any person or entity other than Comcast. Why must our government continue to be bought & sold by lobbyists? ….”I promise not to be a naughty boy” said Hitler to Chamberlin.

    alicia farmer says:

    December 24, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Amen to that brother Fred. Cable is 100% rigged against the consumer.

Julien Devereux says:

December 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Why wouldn’t they agree to retransmission contracts with the larger, more monopolistic Comcast? It’s more money for them, both in retransmission fees and advertising. Besides, they’re on Comcast and TWC already… It’s all about the money, and NOTHING else.

Andrea Rader says:

December 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

When government does it, it’s called a consent agreement. When industry does it, it’s called collusion.


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