Free Press: FCC Should Consider Comcast-NBC’s Impact on Future Retransmission Disputes

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Free Press: FCC Should Consider Comcast-NBC’s Impact on Future Retransmission Disputes

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, Free Press sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to weigh the impact of the proposed Comcast-NBC merger on future retransmission disputes. The group argues that conflicts like the one between Cablevision and Fox - in which Fox has blacked out its channels to Cablevision subscribers - will only worsen if the merger is approved.

Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright made the following statement:

"The ongoing dispute between Cablevision and Fox is just the beginning of what we'll see if Comcast acquires NBC. Post-merger, Comcast would have significantly greater incentive to raise rates for NBC broadcast content, because higher rates not only mean greater revenue for Comcast, but also greater costs for its competitors. Comcast would also have motive to pull NBC's content from its competitors, as well as to block access to NBC.com or Hulu to lure subscribers away.

"The FCC must seriously consider the implications of this merger on future retransmission negotiations. The merger would exacerbate an already broken retransmission system, and consumers should not have to pay the price when companies can't reach an agreement. Such anti-competitive behavior would further raise already high cable and broadband bills in a tough economy."

To view a copy of the letter, click here: http://www.freepress.net/files/FP_Letter_merger_lessons_from_Cablevision_Fox.pdf

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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