Firm charges cabler with unfair dealing
Bloomberg has followed through on its threat to file an FCC complaint against Comcast, charging that the cable has failed to fulfill a condition of its union with NBCUniversal to cluster news channels in the same region of the channel lineup.Bloomberg would like its Bloomberg TV channel placed in the same “neighborhood” as other networks like CNBC, and warned that the combined company would show preference to the channels it owns. A condition placed on the merger requires that if Comcast carries news or business channels in a neighborhood, it must carry all news or business channels in that same area of the cable lineup. “This has become a test of how serious Comcast is about abiding by and implementing the conditions set by the commission,” Greg Babyak, head of government affairs for Bloomberg, said in a statement Monday. “So far, Comcast is failing that test.” Comcast, however, challenges the interpretation of the FCC’s condition. The cabler said the FCC clearly stated that they had to “affirmatively undertake” a process whereby they had to cluster the channels together. “Comcast does not, and since the transaction has not, ‘neighborhooded’ channels on our systems,” said Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast’s VP of government communications. She added that to do so would create disruption across its cable systems, and that the FCC “carefully crafted its moderate, forward looking condition precisely to avoid this type of upheaval.”
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