Viamedia: Comcast/TWC Must Have Ad-Related Conditions

Comcast and Time Warner Cable have failed to show how their acquisition benefits the public, while their combination of ad sales distribution, technology and data would give them "absolute control" of the spot cable and other cable ad markets.

That is according to cable ad sales company Viamedia, which has to compete with NCC for those spot cable ad dollars.

In response to Comcast's defense of the deal at the FCC--which some have challenged and others have insisted be heavily conditioned--Viamedia argues that the combined company would control $4.5 billion out of the $5.4 billion spot cable market and about 87% of cable households via control of national spot cable ad company NCC, set-top box viewing, and 'net surfing data that would give Comcast "the incentive and ability to control the future of local advertising."

Viamedia reiterated its call for conditions on the deal that would insure NCC Interconects are independently managed, limit Comcast's ability to foreclose competitors from NCC and those Interconnects, preserve choice in local ad distribution.

Comcast has argued that it allows other MVPD's into the NCC interconnects, but Viamedia says a footnote to that is that it does not allow such participation for some MPVDs if they also use Viamedia for spot cable.

"By protecting the spot cable advertising market, the Commission will maintain existence of numerous alternatives to Comcast, which would compel Comcast to operate on a level playing field like everyone else," the company said.

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.