Comcast, NBC Universal Expand Public Service Commitments

The companies promise additional local news, kids-friendly measures and more educational programming if regulators approve the cable giant's acquisition of a majority stake in the entertainment firm.

NEW YORK - Comcast and NBC Universal, looking to seal regulatory approval of their proposed combination, have made additional public interest commitments in such areas as local news on Telemundo, family and kids programming, as well as public affairs and educational programming.
A Comcast spokeswoman declined to predict when final regulatory rulings could be issued.

But with decisions from the FCC and Justice Department expected soon, Comcast and NBC Uni in a letter to the FCC that became public on Tuesday detailed further moves that go beyond their initial commitments announced at the time they unveiled cable giant Comcast's plan to buy a 51 percent stake in the entertainment company.
Among the additional commitments is one to have the Telemundo station group produce 1,000 additional hours of local news and information programming for three years after a year-long implementation period.
The companies also will provide one more hour - in addition to a current three-hour requirement - a week of kids educational and informational programming on Telemundo stations, according to the letter. They will also offer further parental controls and advanced filtering technologies, to allow parents to access control settings from various areas and lock programming by content type, for example.
Comcast and NBC Uni in their letter also promised to "limit interactive advertising to kids," including a commitment to keep such advertising out of programming that primarily targets children 12 and younger. 
PSAs will also play a role as the merger partners have promised to spend $15 million a year for five years for educational campaigns focused on such parents/kids topics as digital literacy, parental controls and obesity and nutritional information.