The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday night that Comcast Corp. has to put the Bloomberg TV business channel near other news channels in so-called news neighborhoods in the 35 largest television markets.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, “The case was viewed as a test of the FCC’s will to enforce voluntary commitments made in 2011 as part of the giant Comcast/NBCUniversal deal.
“Thursday’s decision is a win for Bloomberg TV, which insisted that Comcast abide by the ‘neighborhooding’ condition in the FCC’s agreement allowing the merger deal to close.
“Bloomberg TV had fought for the condition, saying that Comcast had an incentive to exile it far from other news channels on its cable systems, which have 22 million subscribers. If it were so exiled, Bloomberg TV said, it could not compete directly with CNBC, the market-leading business-news channel owned by Comcast.
“After reluctantly agreeing to the neighborhooding condition in merger negotiations, Comcast disputed that it had to relocate the Bloomberg TV channel to news neighborhoods after the deal closed.
“Comcast said it would be an inconvenience to subscribers and a violation of its First Amendment right to place channels where it wanted.”
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