Discovery's Zaslav: Comcast-TWC merger 'raises some real issues'

A high-profile voice in the pay-TV programming arena chimed in on Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) proposed $45 million purchase of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

Speaking at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said he and his team are still studying the proposed merger, but it "raises some real issues."

Zaslav suggested that the also-recently-proposed acquisition of DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) by AT&T (NYSE: T) will complicate the regulatory process for Comcast and TWC, delaying the latter's regulatory decision to the first or second quarter of 2015. Original projections had the regulatory process finishing by the end of this year.

Among other topics broached in a wide-ranging discussion by Zaslav, which was webcast and viewed by a number of outlets, including the Hollywood Reporter, the top Discovery exec highlighted a program licensing deal with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) that will kick in later this year. He also noted Discovery's upcoming upfront negotiations with advertisers.

"We have some real momentum," he said, while referring to the recent ratings success of Discovery channels including TLC.

For more:
- read this Hollywood Reporter story

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