Rockefeller: Comcast/NBCU Deal Should Not Mean Cable Rate Boost
Senate Commerce Committee chairman expresses concern that merger could raise cable rates
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/12/2010 2:33:49 PM
"Fundamentally, I worry that a media merger of this size has the potential to leave consumers with lesser programming and higher rates," Rockefeller wrote, according to a copy of the letter supplied to B&C. "It would be unacceptable for a transaction like this to lead to further consumer cable rate increases."
Rockefeller suggested the FCC should impose some open Internet conditions. "With this level of integration comes the capacity of combined Comcast and NBC to favor its own content by degrading or blocking online distribution of programming by competitors. As a result, the commission should carefully review the potential for these harms and, consistent with policies promoting an open Internet, protect consumer choice in the burgeoning online video market."
But Rockefeller also had some nice things to say about both companies. "I was pleased to see that Comcast and NBC have committed to preserve and enrich the production of local news, public affairs, and other public interest programming." He also said he was pleased that the companies had committed to more children's programming.
"With respect to rates," he said, "I worry that the cost of cable service is growing too high too fast." He also cited his long-standing desire for cable operators to offer channels in smaller packages "that better reflect the channels consumers want to watch."
It is unclear whether the FCC will finish its review before year's end. At press time on Friday, commissioners had not seen a draft of any decision.
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more