Comcast tops service providers in latest lobbying numbers

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), which was still in the hunt for NBCUniversal, spent far more lobbying in the first quarter than satellite competitors DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH).

The nation's largest MSO doled out $3.5 million, primarily pushing the final stages of the $31.5 billion deal. This was less than the $4.2 million Comcast spent in the fourth quarter of last year, but more than the $3.1 million it spent in the first quarter of 2010.

It was also more than DirecTV, which spent $1.28 million, primarily to do something about retransmission consent but also to keep an eye on what Comcast was doing with NBCU. That number was up from $620,000 in the first quarter of 2010 and the $880,000 the satellite provider spent in the fourth quarter of last year.

Dish, meanwhile, brought up the rear, spending only $190,000 in the first quarter, primarily over retransmission issues. That was less than the $240,000 it spent during the same period a year ago and the same as it spent in the fourth quarter.

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