Comcast Files Compliance Report on NBCUniversal Deal

7:56 AM PST 02/28/2012 by Georg Szalai
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

"Our commitments and the conditions, though extensive, have been incorporated into our business activities and become part of the company’s 'DNA'," says executive vp David Cohen about the accomplishments of the cable giant led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.

NEW YORK - Cable giant Comcast, led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, on Tuesday filed its first annual compliance report on its NBCUniversal deal, which saw it take a 51 percent stake in the entertainment company late last January.
 
Comcast executive vp David Cohen in a blog post summarized key parts of the FCC report, which details the implementation of the conditions placed by the FCC on the company as part of its regulatory clearance.

"We’ll be filing these reports for the next six years to show the extensive measures we’ve taken to comply with and in many cases go above and beyond our commitments and the FCC’s conditions in connection with the NBCUniversal transaction," Cohen said. "Our commitments and the conditions, though extensive, have been incorporated into our business activities and become part of the company’s 'DNA'." 

He cited such successes as increasing broadband adoption among low-income Americans, where Comcast has connected more than 41,000 homes to the Internet - including an estimated 80,000 children and 160,000 people, expanding local news coverage, expanding carriage of diverse programming and launching new independent channels. 

Under the terms of the NBCUniversal deal approval, Comcast, for example, committed to launching 10 new independent channels by 2019. Earlier this month, it unveiled that it has agreed to launch four diverse and independent owned or operated channels. Including BBC World News, which Comcast launched last year, "we are half way through our eight-year commitment after one year," Cohen said.

As far as Comcast's commitment to increased carriage of independent channels goes, he mentioned that his company has brought the Africa Channel to two million additional homes, Mnet to four million new homes and TVOne to 600,000 added homes. "Comcast also expanded distribution of seven Hispanic or Spanish-language independent networks by 14 million homes, surpassing the three network and 10 million homes target in its commitment," Cohen said.
 
He also highlighted that Comcast and NBCUniversal have made good on their commitment to making more content available on VOD and online. "We have over-delivered," Cohen said, citing live streaming of sports events, including Super Bowl XLVI, and an increase in VOD choices to an average of 24,000 per month, up from the 15,000 average monthly choices before the transaction closed.

Comcast and NBCUniversal also committed to expanding children’s programming choices. Comcast increased children’s VOD programming by approximately 1,000 choices, exceeding the first year commitment by 500 choices, Cohen said. Plus, the NBC TV stations began airing an additional fourth hour of children’s educational/instructional programming every week.  Similarly, Telemundo also added an additional hour a week of children’s programming across its owned stations.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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