Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Allbritton Communications signed a new multi-year retransmission consent agreement on the same day the FCC said it was OK for Comcast to swallow up NBC Universal. This news was a bit obscured by the dust surrounding the whole merger approval thing. On the other hand, it's worth noting because Allbritton, with an affiliate station in Washington, D.C. was one of the deal's more voluble critics.
Still, the two parties managed to arrive at a compromise deal in December that they signed Jan. 18. Apparently, if you sort through maze of what Allbritton SVP Jerry Fritz told broadcast newsletter TV NewsCheck, the agreement and the merger were intertwined. "But for the acquisition, these would have probably been smoother negotiations, but because of the pendency of the acquisition, that raised our concerns considerably and that's why we needed to get this deal done prior to the acquisition," said Fritz.
- TVNewsCheck has this story
Critics want to write off Comcast-NBCU merger