Skip to Content

3 governors urge FCC to allow Comcast-NBC deal

WASHINGTON (AP) – The governors of three large states are urging federal regulators to let Comcast Corp. proceed with its plan to buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal for $13.75 billion.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Governors David Paterson of New York, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania say that “the significant benefits associated with the creation of this new joint venture far outweigh any potential harms.”

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV company, is seeking federal approval to buy a 51 percent interest in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. The FCC and the Justice Department are expected to approve the deal with conditions attached.

Comcast already owns some cable channels, including E! Entertainment and the Golf Channel. The deal would give it control of the NBC and Spanish-language Telemundo broadcast networks, cable channels such as CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen, and the Universal Pictures movie studio and theme parks.

The cable company hopes regulators will be persuaded by the governors of three states where Comcast and NBC Universal are large employers. Comcast and NBC Universal have nearly 130,000 employees in 40 states, with the most jobs in New York, California, Pennsylvania and Florida.

“Comcast has made clear that this venture is not about cutting jobs, but about growing NBCU’s businesses,” the governors wrote.

Rival subscription video companies fear Comcast will use its control of NBC Universal to push up prices for popular programming or even to withhold it altogether. Small, independent programmers also worry that Comcast cable systems could drop competing channels or relegate them to premium tiers with fewer subscribers.

And public interest groups are concerned that Comcast will begin charging for content online and that the company will have too much power in local markets where it would own both the NBC station and the dominant cable system.

But the governors wrote that the deal will help the combined company grow its new-media business to bring consumers “more programming choices over more communications technologies.” It will also “help preserve national and local broadcast television by getting the NBC and Telemundo television networks on a solid footing,” the governors wrote.

Comcast, which is based in Philadelphia, has ties to the Pennsylvania governor’s office. Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen served as chief of staff to Rendell, then mayor of Philadelphia, from 1992 to 1997.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

The Steiner tree problem:  Connect a set of points with line segments of minimum total length.
The Steiner tree problem:  Connect a set of points with line segments of minimum total length.

The 50-year-old problem that eludes theoretical computer science

A solution to P vs NP could unlock countless computational problems—or keep them forever out of reach.

section of Rima Sharp captured by the LRO
section of Rima Sharp captured by the LRO

The moon didn’t die as early as we thought

Samples from China’s lunar lander could change everything we know about the moon’s volcanic record.

conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other
conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other

Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love

Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.

ASML machine
ASML machine

Inside the machine that saved Moore’s Law

The Dutch firm ASML spent $9 billion and 17 years developing a way to keep making denser computer chips.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.