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Comcast Gets Two Extra Weeks to Respond to Bloomberg Complaint

The FCC has given Comcast an extra two weeks to respond formally to Bloomberg's complaint that Comcast violated the NBCU merger condition on neighborhooding news channels.

The reply had been due July 13, but the FCC agreed to extend that to July 27 after Comcast asked and Bloomberg had no objection, according to Comcast. "Bloomberg's complaint is extensive, and we believe that extending the answer deadline to July 27, 2011, is appropriate to allow Comcast sufficient time to review and answer the complaint, and provide the Media Bureau with a more extensive record, which may lead to a more expeditious resolution of the dispute," the commission said .

The extension may also mean a less harried July 4 weekend or week for those charged with compiling that extensive record. The FCC has frequently granted extensions of deadlines that fall near major holidays.

On June 13, Bloomberg filed a formal complaint with the FCC after Comcast declined to move Bloomberg TV into what Bloomberg called "existing news neighborhoods" on Comcast systems.

Bloomberg argued that not doing so violates a condition in the FCC's order approving the NBCU deal. Bloomberg wants the FCC to make Comcast move Bloomberg TV into those ""neighborhoods," as defined by Bloomberg, in the top 35 DMA's in the country within 60 days.

In its response to Bloomberg's informal May 26 request that it start moving Bloomberg TV adjacent to other business news channels, Comcast had pointed out that its channel placements preceded the NBCU deal and said it was not based on any "discriminatory motive to advantage CNBC or MSNBC to disadvantage Bloomberg."

Comcast said the FCC did not intend for Comcast to have to remake channel lineups in 39 states. It pointed out that it has launched Bloomberg TV to 18 million subs over the past five years and continued to add the channel after the transaction with NBCU.