FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 26, 2014
Contact: Brian Pacheco, NHMC email@example.com (213) 718-0732WASHINGTON — The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed comments yesterday at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Public Notice seeking input on Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The comments urge the FCC to incorporate a number of critical questions on how the acquisition would affect Latinos into its public interest analysis. NHMC is calling on the Commission to examine how the acquisition would impact: Latino programmers and Latino-themed content carriage and distribution; pay TV and Internet affordability; data caps, overage fees and usage-based pricing; Comcast’s Internet Essentials program; customer service; business relationships with other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD); the Open Internet; regional sports networks; and jobs. “This transaction, which would combine the two largest cable companies in the country, would forever change the markets for video and high-speed Internet access services,” stated Alex Nogales, president and CEO of NHMC. “What’s at stake is the future of diversity in our media and communications systems, as both Comcast and Time Warner Cable originate and distribute entertainment, news, and sports content over their cable systems and online, and purchase vast amounts of original content from other entities.” The primary transaction is valued at over $45 billion dollars and would make Comcast the dominant — and often only — provider of cable television and/or high-speed Internet access in 19 of the top 20, and 43 of the top 50 designated market areas (DMAs), including important markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. As a result of the deal, the new Comcast would control almost 30 percent of the cable video market, nearly 40 percent of the high-speed Internet market, and more than 50 percent of the market for triple play service bundles (telephone, television, Internet). The network of the combined company will pass nearly 70 percent of the households in the United States. Historically, NHMC has evaluated transactions that would combine multiple players in the same industry with an eye towards how the resulting entity and market structure would serve and impact Latinos. NHMC has traditionally focused on how a proposed transaction would impact competition, prices, consumer choice, customer service, and jobs. “This particular transaction is of great importance to Latinos, as its completion would make Comcast the cable provider for up to 90 percent of Latino video subscribers nationwide” stated Jessica J. González, executive vice president and general counsel of NHMC. “Not only would this subject a large percentage of Latinos to Comcast’s prices and business practices, but it would also make Comcast the main gateway that many independent content producers would need to access to reach the growing Latino market. This could have major implications for Latino consumers and content creators alike.” To view NHMC’s comments, visit http://bit.ly/1tQxONf.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Learn more at www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebook and Twitter @NHMC.]]>