Bloomberg petitioned the FCC on Friday to lift its stay of a
portion of its news neighborhooding order and require Comcast to immediately
"neighborhood" its business news channels in 59 additional markets.
The FCC back in May agreed with Bloomberg that Comcast
needed to move the independent news channel into "news neighborhoods"
-- groupings of news channels in adjacent channel positions -- to comply with
an NBCU deal condition. That condition was meant to prevent Comcast from
favoring its co-owned news nets, like MSNCB or CNBC, over independents.
The FCC, in an order clarifying its May 2 order to Comcast
to neighborhood Bloomberg TV channels, on Aug. 14 stayed the effectiveness of
its order as it applied to markets with only a single standard-definition news neighborhood and no vacant adjacent channels.
The FCC said the partial stay would reduce consumer
disruption if the FCC changes its decision per a review Bloomberg itself has
asked for. But Bloomberg said in its petition that the stay would allow Comcast
to "continue to flout the terms of the news neighborhooding condition
included in the Comcast-NBC Universal Merger Order," and further reduce
the time it would have to comply with the news neighborhooding condition given
that it was limited to seven years and it is now 20 months since the NBCU deal
"Since there is only one SD news neighborhood on these
channel lineups and those channel lineups are not otherwise impacted by the
issues raised in Bloomberg's Initial Application for Review, the stay should be
lifted. Comcast should be directed to immediately neighborhood BTV in all of
those markets," said Bloomberg.
"Comcast continues to believe the Media Bureau appropriately stayed aspects of its decision pending full Commission review in this case," Comcast said in a statement.
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