Lawmakers Ask Comcast to Bulk Up Latino Programming Before Approving Time Warner Acquisition
Comcast's proposed deal to acquire Time Warner demands the approval of the federal government. That allows politicians some wiggle room before the deal is done, witness a letter fired off this week regarding the cable giant's commitment to Latino viewers.
A group of 53 lawmakers are requesting Comcast make a "formal commitment" to allocate more of its programming to the country's growing Latino population to avoid an "uneven playing field," according to Variety.
In a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, the lawmakers contend that the newly merged company will reach over 90% of the Latino households in the United States.
“Unfortunately, independent Latino program providers operate on an uneven playing field that threatens to limit the Latino community’s access to their important perspectives,” the letter states. “For years, the nation’s largest mainstream program providers have continued to attract available channel capacity and fees from cable and satellite providers while independent program providers struggle to gain access to channels, let alone fees, for their program offerings.”
Comcast responded by defending its current slate of programming and noting it has a strong track record of Latino outreach via its content.
Since 2011, Comcast has expanded the total distribution of seven Hispanic programming networks by more than 14 million subscribers,” he wrote. “This exceeds by more than 40 percent our commitment in the NBCUniversal transaction to expand three Hispanic networks by 10 million subscribers.