OLD Media Moves

Comcast ordered to put Bloomberg TV next to other news networks

August 15, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered Comcast to place Bloomberg Television next to other news networks such as CNBC and CNN on its cable systems.

David Lieberman of Deadline New York writes, “Today’s order from the regulatory agency’s Media Bureau means that by tomorrow Bloomberg TV will be located next to other news channels such as CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News in about 158 of Comcast’s systems.

“The bureau pretty much sided with Bloomberg, ruling that the cable company had to move the business news channel’s standard definition feed into the so-called “news neighborhood” of the dial in 32 systems even if it meant that another service had to be displaced. Also, Comcast couldn’t just move Bloomberg on the HD tier. ‘When coupled with the Bureau’s earlier mandate that Comcast place Bloomberg TV in 126 Standard Definition news neighborhoods by July 1, this stands as a big win for the public and independent programmers,’ says Greg Babyak, Bloomberg’s Head of Government Affairs.

“The order clarifies a May 2 Media Bureau decision that Comcast discriminated against Bloomberg TV by positioning it away from other news services. It’s a sensitive issue because Bloomberg competes with CNBC: Before Comcast bought NBCU, it promised the FCC that it wouldn’t favor its own channels vs rival services. Comcast said it wasn’t discriminating against Bloomberg; it was already separated from other news services on Comcast systems before the NBCU deal.  The cable giant has said that it will appeal the ruling. Comcast wouldn’t comment on today’s Media Bureau ruling.”

Read more here.

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