Consumers Union steps up fight against Comcast-NBCU merger

TV Guide's Stephen Battaglio could be only one-third accurate when he writes, "NBC will soon have a new owner, a new entertainment chief--and a long road back to prime time ratings success." NBC's road back to ratings success could be long and difficult but it's no cinch that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) will be its new owner.

Consumers Union billboardConsumers Union, a rabid opponent, begs to differ and is making itself heard the old fashioned way: with a 10x22-foot mobile billboard featuring a cable-like boa constrictor wrapped around a TV and a tagline that says "Don't Constrict Choice--Reject the Comcast Buyout of NBC." The billboard is snaking its way through the streets of Washington, D.C. for regulators to see.

"Comcast has earned deep distrust," Consumer Reports policy counsel Parul Desai said. "Comcast routinely raises rates, requires customers to buy packages of channels they don't want to get the few they do and slaps stiff penalties on people who want to move to another broadband company for better service."

Battaglio, for his part, sees Robert Greenblatt, Comcast's announced choice to run things as a polishing cloth that "will try to restore the luster of NBC's entertainment division."

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