Bloomberg, Comcast Continue To Spar Over News Neighborhooding

By Alex Weprin 

Bloomberg LP and Comcast continue to trade FCC filings over news neighborhooding. In the latest filing, Bloomberg attempts to show that Comcast must make room for its cable business channels wherever it groups together cable news outlets. As part of its deal to acquire NBCUniversal (and along with it, CNBC) Comcast agreed that independent channels cannot be discriminated against in channel “neighborhoods.”

Bloomberg argues that anywhere that Comcast groups together multiple cable news and business channels, Bloomberg must be included as well. Comcast argues that the rule only applies to any “neighborhoods” created in the future.

If the FCC were to find in favor of Bloomberg, it could theoretically benefit a number of other channels, including Fox Business Network and Current TV, and may require Comcast to place those channels in the same “neighborhood” as CNN, CNBC and Fox News.

“Bloomberg LP is confident that Chairman Genachowski and his colleagues will require Comcast to abide by the independent news neighborhooding condition to which Comcast affirmatively agreed to gain approval for its acquisition of NBCU,” said Greg Babyak, Head of Government Affairs for Bloomberg LP in a statement. “Comcast’s ongoing refusal to implement the independent news neighborhooding condition is nothing more than an attempt to run out the clock. With eight months of the condition’s life having already elapsed, Comcast still refuses to acknowledge the Order’s mandate that ‘now’ means ‘now.’”