Comcast Files First NBCU Condition Compliance Report

Comcast Tuesday filed its first annual report on its compliance with conditions in the NBCUniversal deal, its first for six such annual reports it must file, also as a condition of the deal.

According to executive VP David Cohen, those conditions have become business as usual for the company. "[O]ur commitments and the conditions, though extensive, have been incorporated into our business activities and become part of the company's 'DNA,'" he wrote in a blog posting.

Cohen said the company has, in many cases, gone beyond the commitments to realize the public interest benefits it pledged as part of the deal and thecompetitive safeguards the FCC sought.

Among the companies first-year actions, he pointed out, were committing to launch new, diverse, independent cable channels, expanding carriage of diverse programming, increasing local news, and boosting broadband adoption for low income families-Comcast's Internet Essentials, which the FCC used as a model for a wider adoption effort.

He cited the first-ever streaming of the Super Bowl as one way it had met the commitment of putting more content online.

Among Comcast's overdelivery on its promises -- according to Cohen's blog posting -- was its commitment to expand its broadband network by 1,500 miles in 2011 and upgrade Internet to at least six rural communities. He said Comcast has expanded by 2,044 miles and boosted net service in 33 rural communities.

In addition, he said, broadband plant had been extended to almost 200,000 homes, or 50% of its three-year, 400,000 commitment.

Another overdelivery was in news, he said. While Comcast promised to add 1,000 hours of local news and information programming on its owned stations, as well as on Telemundo stations, Cohen said the owned stations boosted local news by almost 2,000 hours, and Telemundo by 1,200 hours.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.