Bloomberg Seeks Lifting of Partial Stay of Neighborhooding Order
Says it allows Comcast to exclude its channel from 59 markets
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/14/2012 11:38:50 AM
The FCC back in May agreed with Bloomberg that Comcast needed to move the independent news channel into "news neighborhoods" -- groupings of news channels in adjacent channel positions -- to comply with an NBCU deal condition. That condition was meant to prevent Comcast from favoring its co-owned news nets, like MSNCB or CNBC, over independents.
The FCC, in an order clarifying its May 2 order to Comcast to neighborhood Bloomberg TV channels, on Aug. 14 stayed the effectiveness of its order as it applied to markets with only a single standard-definition news neighborhood and no vacant adjacent channels.
The FCC said the partial stay would reduce consumer disruption if the FCC changes its decision per a review Bloomberg itself has asked for. But Bloomberg said in its petition that the stay would allow Comcast to "continue to flout the terms of the news neighborhooding condition included in the Comcast-NBC Universal Merger Order," and further reduce the time it would have to comply with the news neighborhooding condition given that it was limited to seven years and it is now 20 months since the NBCU deal was approved.
"Since there is only one SD news neighborhood on these channel lineups and those channel lineups are not otherwise impacted by the issues raised in Bloomberg's Initial Application for Review, the stay should be lifted. Comcast should be directed to immediately neighborhood BTV in all of those markets," said Bloomberg.
"Comcast continues to believe the Media Bureau appropriately stayed aspects of its decision pending full Commission review in this case," Comcast said in a statement.
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