As retransmission consent disputes between programmers and distributors
have escalated in recent months, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts
said that the No.1 MSO's pending joint venture with NBC Universal could
have a calming influence on what have been increasingly nasty
Most recently, Cablevision Systems has been embroiled
in an ever escalating retrans fight with Fox Networks over broadcast
stations in New York and Philadelphia. Cablevision has called for
binding arbitration to settle the matter, a move Fox has said is
Speaking to analysts on a conference call to discuss
its third quarter results, Roberts didn't offer many specifics - the
NBCU JV is still winding through the regulatory process. But he did
acknowledge that the combined power of NBCU's broadcast and cable
content assets and Comcast's No. 1 cable distribution could bring new
ideas to the discussions.
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