Massachusetts Democratic House members Joe Kennedy III and Stephen Lynch have added their names to the legislators pushing Comcast/NBCU to insure that Boston DMA residents continue to have access to NBC programming once NBC launches a new over-the-air affiliate there in January.
They are concerned that a low-power station will be relaying the signal from a New Hampshire LPTV station.
In a letter to Comcast chairman Brian Roberts, they say that could "potentially" exclude many residents, "limiting their access to certain national and local programming."
They also pointed out that some of those residents with limited finances have cut the cord and rely on over-the-air broadcasting.
They said that they believed the transmission arrangement will have a "severe impact" on the "most vulnerable" citizens.
They want to know if Roberts and company share their concerns and, if so, what they will be doing about it.
They added a dig at the 2011 merger. "Many of us in Congress had serious reservations about the 2011 acquisition of NBC by Comcast and its potential negative impact on access to programming and cost for the consumer," ending with their hope that Comcast could rectify those concerns with action on the Boston broadcasts.
Their letter follows letters and calls from Massachusetts Democratic Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren.
Diana Marszalek contributed to this report.
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.
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