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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together

ComcastTWC304Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable this morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argues the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. 50 groups sent this letter to the Attorney General and FCC Chairman today asking that the deal be blocked. Comcast goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Here’s some coverage of today’s filing:

  • Wall Street Journal: Regulators are likely to zero in on how the deal would affect broadband access, which is increasingly the preferred pipe for delivering video, voice and data to consumers’ homes.
  • CNET: Cohen said he understands why critics are skeptical of allowing two major broadband and video providers to merge. But he said the concerns are overblown
  • USA Today: Federal regulators, including the FCC and the Department of Justice, will review the proposal and are expected to issue a ruling by the end of the year.
  • New York Post: Comcast has cast itself as the underdog in a fight with much larger media and tech titans.
  • Capital New York: Comcast argued that once the transaction concluded it would control only 20 percent of the U.S. broadband market, a very different number from the 40 percent cited by public-interest groups that oppose the deal.
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ESPN and Mangini Explain Why He'll Be On Your TV Talking Football

Yesterday it was reported by Phil Mushnick of The New York Post that former New York Jets coach Eric Mangini would be joining ESPN as an NFL analyst, an announcement that left most football fans underwhelmed. Mangini always exhibited the kind of blase sideline demeanor that infuriated his own team’s fans, so it seemed odd that ESPN wanted to harness that techni-boring personality, not least because he’d been fired twice and fingered as the source of SpyGate’s unraveling in New England. (Mangini used to be an assistant in New England and was aware of their taping practices, which he revealed to the league once he became the head coach in New York.)

But let’s look for the good instead, shall we? Obviously that’s the WWL’s approach, as they posted this press release that served to remind us (however briefly) that, whaddya know, Mangini actually has some highlights on his resume.

A head coach for the last five NFL seasons, Mangini coached the New York Jets from 2006-08 and more recently the Browns (2009-10). In his first season with the Jets, he led them to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth after the team finished 4-12 the previous year.

“Eric brings a wealth of knowledge from his experiences as an assistant and a head coach,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer for NFL studio shows. “Eric is one of the smartest football people I’ve ever been around. Adding him to our roster will enhance our ability to give viewers the best available analysis on the NFL from all angles.”

Mangini, who worked as an ESPN guest analyst during the 2010 NFL playoffs previewing the AFC Divisional Playoff matchup between the Jets and Patriots, added: “I am excited to join the ESPN team for the upcoming season. With my reputation for access and ease with the media, it seems like a natural fit. I am always impressed by how knowledgeable fans are and by their passion to learn more about their team, the league and the strategy of the game, and I hope to add meaningful insight.

“As for my new role, I have been preparing diligently, by picking out tribal tattoos for my lower leg and doing triple shots of espresso to match Herm Edwards’ energy level.”

A Rex Ryan reference, nice. That’s actually topical and funny. Can the Man-Genius maintain this pace? Can he meet these standards every day? Jets and Browns fans can probably answer that better than I can.

By the way, the release also says he’ll also be appearing on First Take. Skip Bayless and Eric Mangini possibly debating the day’s hot topics? That’ll be something.

Comcast Addresses Bloomberg Charges in FCC Brief

Bloomberg TV has already come out against the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal acquisition. The financial news channel says that once Comcast owns CNBC, it will discriminate against other networks such as itself, leaving them higher up on the channel lineup or on different tiers.

Yesterday, in a response to questioning from the FCC, Comcast addressed those concerns directly.

The FCC did not  ask about Bloomberg’s complaint. Rather, Comcast included the response in a section outlining new navigation technologies it is developing to help consumers find the channels they want to watch:

Comcast is conducting limited trails of a new channel lineup that will allow certain cable systems that convert to all-digital to group networks in genre neighborhoods such as “News & Local,” “Kids,” “Sports,” “Movies,” etc. For example, under “News & Local,” systems where this channel lineup is implemented would group Bloomberg TV, CNBC and Fox Business Network together with other news channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC…

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Comcast, NBCU Tout News, Public Interest Commitments for Proposed Deal in FCC Meeting

Comcast and NBC executives met with the FCC last week to tout the unified company’s commitment to news and public interest programming once the acquisition of NBC Universal is completed, according to documents obtained by TVNewser.

The participants in the meeting were Jordan Goldstein, senior director of regulatory affairs for Comcast, Margaret Tobey, VP of regulatory affairs for NBC Universal as well as outside counsel for both companies. For the FCC, staffers from the office of the general counsel, office of strategic planning & policy analysis and from the FCC’s media bureau were all represented.

According to the ex parte letter, which was filed with the FCC October 7, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the public interest commitments made by Comcast, as well as what role the new company would play in the FCC’s “Future of Media” project. NBC’s news and public affairs programming looks to play a big part of that, if this section of the letter is any indication:

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Oh Dan Hampton

Dan “Danimal” Hampton was chatting on Pro Football Weekly when he said that “The Vikings need to go down there and hit that town like Katrina.” That, as you can imagine, drew some ire.

Then, however, he went one step further, remarking that the Cowboys are “more of the ‘Brokeback’ variety if you know what I’m talking about.”

Not smart, Mr. Hampton, not smart.

Maybe let your Hall of Fame bust do the talking?

Do Athletes Lie to the Media?

NFL players lie to the media. That may not be a revelation, but it’s rare you hear someone come out and admit as much.

But that’s exactly the sentiment expressed by New York Giants center Shaun O’Hara in a story running in the USA Today.

“The one thing you kind of become programmed to as a player is don’t be honest with the media. Deal with them, but don’t get caught up in anything,” he said.

The article focuses on the difficulty guys have jumping from playing the sport to commentating but features some fascinating revelations from current and former gridiron stars. Read more

Tom Brady Refuses to Watch Hard Knocks

Tom Brady, Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New England Patriots, has a lot on his plate: a team to lead, a kid to parent, a supermodel to appease, magazines in which to pose. He’s a busy dude. It would be understandable if he didn’t have time to watch HBO’s Hard Knocks. In fact, he refuses to check out the show for another reason entirely: It’s about the rival New York Jets.

“I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show,” the quarterback told the AP.

Brady, ever the diplomat, added, “”I’d love to say a lot of mean things, but I’d rather not do that, either.”

Considering the show’s ratings jumped 37 percent from last year, HBO might not need Brady’s eyeballs after all.