FCC extends Comcast-NBC comments deadline

The FCC has added 45 days onto the end of its May 3 deadline to comment on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger so opposing companies can review and respond to reports on the economic benefits of the deal and the potential impact on online video distribution.

The extension had been requested by a wide variety of industry players who said they needed more time to digest and respond to Comcast-NBC's claims that the merger will benefit, not hurt, the overall telecommunications and entertainment space. Competitors especially are concerned that the merger would give Comcast, already the largest cable TV and Internet provider, an iron lock on a broadcast channel as well.

In related news, NBC Universal's present parent, General Electric, said that the broadcaster's Olympics coverage, for which the network paid $820 million, dragged down first quarter earnings. On a positive note, that had ears burning at Comcast: GE said cable television was NBC Universal's best performer with strong results and high ratings.

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