Tuesday, January 18, 2011

UPDATE: FCC Blesses Comcast & NBC Universal Marriage

Image representing Comcast as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseThe FCC today voted 4-1 to approve cable giant Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal from General Electric, which is expected to be finalized later this month, marking the first time a broadcast network will be cable owned (see "TUOL" post 12/04/09).

The combined media conglomerate will boast more than 16.5 million  broadband subscribers, 23 million cable viewers and a bevy of familiar cable channels, including Bravo, MSNBC and USA, according to a story in today's Washington Post.

Although the FCC found the purchase to be in the "public interest," it did impose certain requirements on the new media monolith. Comcast/NBC was allowed to retain its stake in Hulu, which Walt Disney Co. owns, along with NBC  and News Corp.  Comcast, however, will have to offer its content on the Internet to online video distributors at the same rate and under the same conditions as offered to cable and satellite providers, and must also boost its diversity programming for Spanish-speaking viewers, among other conditions.

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