Politicos sounding off on Comcast-NBCU deal

> The Comcast-NBC Universal merger is giving politicians a moment in the spotlight. Sen. Al Franken, known to many for his work on NBC's Saturday Night Live and to some for his fierce opposition to the merger, reiterated that opposition in a letter to the FCC where he demanded the imposition of nine conditions before the merger can go through. On the other side of the coin, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley called Comcast "good corporate citizens" and offered strong support for the merger.

> General Electric, current parent company of NBC Universal, while unable to convince former employee Al Franken of the merits of the sale, did probably raise some support by spending $7.14 million on first quarter lobbying. Story.

> Not many have seen them and fewer still have used them, but the NCTA has told the FCC that the 10 top cable operators deployed more than 21 million set-top boxes with CableCards in the last three years and distributed about 520,000 of the devices for use in retail items. Story.

> That busy group at the FCC is looking into how Charter Communications' emergency alert system handled a tornado warning in Madison, Wis. Subscribers claim the EAS was on the screen too long and only gave out the company's toll-free hotline information. It also blocked viewers from changing the channel. Story.

> The name Canoe invites all kinds of silly water-based analogies so it's not surprising that a story in MediaPost News had CEO David Verklin suggesting that "efforts to launch its interactive advertising application have been more like turning around an aircraft carrier while dodging torpedoes." Story.

> Even as movie theater owners say they'll take all kinds of drastic action if VoD release dates are moved closer to theater screening times, Warner Bros. Entertainment CE Barry Meyer said his company is "actively pursuing opportunities for an early window release of [their] films over cable and satellite systems in advance of DVD and Blu-ray." Them's fightin' words Barry. Story.

> Here's one that's a bit convoluted news--at least to the naked eye. Clearleap and Roku are teaming Clearleap's cloud-based video platform with Roku set-tops in a package they'll tailor to cable operators. The combo figures the deal will help cable fight off the likes of Google TV and Apple TV with Internet video content. Story.