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Comcast-NBCU Faces Full-Court Press

Buzz about Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s merger with NBC Universal and some residual effects from the new iPhone for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) lead today's cable news headlines.

  • Lobbyists from Comcast and NBC Universal are honing in on 90 House Democrats in their full-court press to win Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission approval of their merger. (See FCC Eyes Conditions for Comcast-NBCU Merger.)

  • Ahead of today's confirmation that Verizon would start selling the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 4 on Feb. 10, analysts warned that the deal will likely come with exclusivity provisions that will shut out other US carriers, including Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), for the rest of the year. (See Cox Wireless Is Go for Launch.)

  • Fortune thinks it won’t be long before Verizon Wireless moves to usage-based data plans for its version of the iPhone. And we wonder, when will MSOs such as Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) begin to market their own smart phones? (See CDMA iPhone Finally Happening Tuesday? and Cablevision Trademarks Mobile, RS-DVR Brands.)

  • Responding to a complaint from Zoom Telephonics that Comcast is dragging its feet in certifying cable modems, the MSO told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it has certified more than 100 Docsis devices in the last 10 years, including two devices from Zoom. (See Zoom Moans About Comcast's Modem Tests .)

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) are the only pay-TV providers raising rates more this year than they did in 2010, according to an analysis from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. (See Dish May Serve Rate Hikes .)

  • Hackers are celebrating the first jail break of Google TV, which "requires a bit of soldering, and a pretty involved software hack -- not something your average Joe wanting Hulu LLC on his Google TV is likely to manage." (See Google TV Still Not Ready for Prime Time and Google TV Guns for Cable Deals .)

  • Top Internet video ad network Tremor Media recruited A&E veteran Melinda McLaughlin, naming her chief marketing officer.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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