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As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together (TVNewser)
Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Tuesday morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argued that the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. Fifty groups sent a letter to the attorney general and FCC chairman Tuesday asking that the deal be blocked. Capital New York The 650-page document filed with the FCC outlines the reasons Comcast believes the proposed merger with TWC would be in the public interest. Much of the document spelled out in granular detail arguments made by Comcast in its original announcement of the proposed deal, but there are some notable new takes. Comcast now sees itself as a tech company, in competition with Google, Facebook and Netflix just as much as traditional competitors like DirecTV and Verizon. Comcast argues that it doesn’t compete with TWC, as they do not operate in the same areas. Variety Critics have claimed the Comcast-TWC merger, which would create an entity that controls 30 percent of the country’s pay-TV market, is decidedly not in the public interest because it would result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. Moreover, the combination “could compromise the open nature of the Internet,” Sen. Al Franken told Justice Department officials last month. CNET Last week, Comcast filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will begin the antitrust review of the merger. And on Wednesday, Cohen will testify about the merger before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Now that the official filing has been made in the merger, which was announced in February, the FCC will have a self-imposed deadline of 180 days to review and make its decision. USA Today Facing a growing number of customers flocking to streaming video and content providers demanding more payment for programs, TWC agreed in February to be bought by Comcast for $45 billion. The acquisition would give Comcast access to key media markets that it has coveted, including New York and Los Angeles, and occupy about 40 percent of the Internet service market, or about 32 million customers.

Weather Channel Returns to DirecTV Lineup (WSJ)
After a nearly three-month blackout, the Weather Channel will be back on DirecTV’s program lineup as of Wednesday, after the companies reached a new programming agreement.TVNewser As part of the deal, DirecTV agreed to a small increase in the fees it pays to Weather Channel, though the increase will be less than the penny a subscriber a month Weather Channel sought. The Weather Channel has also agreed to increase the airtime it gives to weather-related news, agreeing to reduce reality programming by half on weekdays and return instant local weather. Variety When DirecTV took the Weather Channel off the air, it said more than 40 percent of the network’s programming was dedicated to reality television shows, such as Coast Guard AlaskaLifeguard! and Prospectors. The Weather Channel will also allow DirecTV customers to watch the Weather Channel’s video programming on multiple devices inside and outside the home, so long as they can prove they are subscribers. CNNMoney Big cable channels are rarely blacked out by distributors, and when they are, the disruptions tend to only last for hours or days. But this one began in mid-January and seemed without end. It affected one in six American households, since DirecTV serves roughly 20 million subscribers.

Rep. McCarthy Pulls Breitbart Column (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
House majority whip Kevin McCarthy pulled his column from Breitbart News Tuesday after the site launched a California version with a lewd Photoshopped image of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. The Washington Times Breitbart News ran into trouble Monday when it launched its California branch with several altered images of public figures. Promotional materials included a photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s face Photoshopped onto a topless female body, and California Gov. Jerry Brown depicted as a bodybuilder flexing his bicep. It seemed, however, that artwork featuring Pelosi’s head on a twerking Miley Cyrus’ body is what prompted McCarthy to pull the plug. ABC News / The Note Just last week, McCarthy praised the website’s launch, saying it would fill a “void of conservative activism” that was left after the death of Breitbart founder Andrew Breitbart. “This weekend’s launch of Breitbart California is a testament to his legacy of holding our public officials accountable for their actions,” McCarthy said in a statement. But Monday, McCarthy was clearly miffed by the Photoshopped images. “The images are inappropriate,” Mike Long, McCarthy’s spokesman, said. The Hill / Briefing Room Breitbart News and McCarthy’s spokesman tweeted out a link to the op-ed titled “Re-Imagining The Golden State” on Sunday, coinciding with the launch of the California bureau. Links to the article Tuesday morning led to an error message, after the post was removed. The article highlighted a pattern of corruption charges leveled against state Democratic officials and asserted the Republican Party is on the rise in California.