Allbritton Asks FCC to Impose Conditions on NBCU-Comcast Deal

By Alex Weprin 

Allbritton Communications, which owns a number of ABC affiliates, regional cable news channels and, has asked the FCC to delay its decision on the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger.

The regional cable news channels are at the heart of the Allbritton filing, according to B&C’s John Eggerton:

Allbritton argues that Comcast’s effort to package its negotiations for renewal of the news channel [NewsChannel 8 Washington] with retransmission consent rights to Allbritton’s TV stations “in far-off markets” devalues the channel and “exposes Comcast’s true intention to devalue the news channel, rendering it financially non-viable.”

Allbritton argues devaluing the cable news channel would directly benefit WRC-TV Washington, the NBC-owned station that would become a Comcast-owned station post-merger.

A number of blogs have pointed out that Allbritton has been running ads opposing the merger on, though it has also been running them on its other outlets, including NewsChannel 8, which is being renamed TBD TV to sync with Allbritton’s new local news websites.