African-American-owned media group slams Comcast; NBC affiliates fret about sports

Nobody said it was going to be easy, but executives at Comcast these days must be wondering what they have to do to convince the world--or at least the federal government--that they should be allowed to pony up $31 billion to acquire NBC Universal. Certainly everyone with a beef (and there are many) is airing it.

The latest to turn up the heat on the MSO are the National Coalition of African-American Owned Media (NCAAOM) and NBC affiliates who would have to deal with the cable giant when it acquired the parent company.

NCAAOM issued a press release in which it took Comcast to task for "non-existent carriage of 100 percent African-American owned channels on its nationwide platforms." The group, in a statement attributed to President-CEO Stanley Washington didn't mince words. Pension funds that invest in Comcast "are supporting apartheid right here in America," the statement said, adding "we find it unacceptable that none of the 250-plus channels that are offered on the Comcast5 platform are 100 percent African-American owned and widely distributed on their nationwide platform."

In a less strident but equally measured message, NBC affiliates met with the FCC and said that there must be an assurance of "the availability of highly valued sporting events on free, over-the-air broadcasting" that would preclude those channels from being placed onto Comcast cable platforms.

For more:
- see this news release
- and this story

Related articles:
Franken expresses 'inherent distrust of NBC and Comcast promises'
Rep. Maxine Waters has questions about Comcast/NBCU deal
Magic Johnson backs Comcast-NBCU deal, as Kevin Martin backs out of hearing

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