Boucher Has Online Access Questions For Comcast/NBCU

Sending follow-up questions to companies this week
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The chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee says he has some follow-up questions for the heads of Comcast and NBCU about access to online content, which he suggests should be the same for consumers after the proposed joint venture as before.

Rick Boucher (D-Va.) told reporters after a speech to broadcasters in Washington Tuesday that he was sending follow-up questions likely this week.

Boucher chaired a hearing on the deal featuring Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts and Jeff Zucker at which the issue of access to online content was raised, including by Boucher.

"I think there are some clear foundation points," he said. "There should be no less access by the viewing public to content after this combination than there is today." He also said that he believed that "over-the-top" content providers and TV viewers "should be assured that they can go to the web and obtain whatever programming they want. Whatever is offered should be available to them and should not be blocked in any way."

Boucher said he had no comment on concerns expressed by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) about NBC limiting access to some Olympic content online, saying he was not aware of it and needed to know more about it before commenting.