The effort to win regulatory approval for Comcast’s acquisition of 51 percent of NBCU kicked into gear with the deal’s announcement, starting with a five-page memo from Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) EVP David Cohen laying out the “public interest commitments” the company will make to the Federal Communications Commission. That includes:
— promising that at least 75 percent of our On Demand programming be available to subscribers at no extra charge for the three-year period after closing and that NBCU broadcast content of the kind currently being made available at a per-episode charge on Comcast’s On Demand service will be made available at no cost to the consumer.
— continuing to provide free over-the-air television through the NBC O&O stations and through Telemundo; stations and through local broadcast affiliates across the nation. But that depends on finding “a business model to sustain free over-the-air service that can be workable in the evolving economic and technological environment.”
— stressing the number of non-Comcast channels it will carry as a cable operator — Comcast claims six out of every seven channels carried by Comcast Cable will still be unaffiliated — and promising to add six more in the three years after its digital migration is finished, expected to be in 2011.
— promises to maintain NBCU’s political news independence
— honoring NBCU’s collective bargaining.
The full text is here.