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Comcast Proposes Conditions for NBCU Merger

Light Reading
LR Cable News Analysis
Light Reading
12/24/2010

Still plenty of cable news as the holiday weekend begins. In today’s roundup, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) promises to provide discounted high-speed Internet access to low-income households to win Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval of the NBC Universal merger, and Google TV hits another speed bump. Also: a look at In Demand LLC ’s Yule Log in 3D.

  • Comcast promised to provide households earning $20,000 or less with a $9.95 monthly high-speed Internet service if the FCC approves its merger with NBC Universal. In a letter it sent to the commission on Thursday, Comcast also agreed to make broadband available to an additional 400,000 homes by expanding its network by at least 1,500 miles per year for the next three years, and to upgrade at least six rural communities in 2011. (See FCC Eyes Conditions for Comcast-NBCU Merger.)

  • Noting that the FCC could force Comcast to distribute NBC content to any Web rival as a condition of the merger, Peter Kafka wonders on All Things Digital if FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is “trying to put a fork in Hulu.” (See Comcast: NBCU Deal Won't Kill Web TV Players .)

  • More buzz this morning about trouble for Google TV. Logitech Ltd. , which sells the Revue set-top for Google TV, has suspended shipments until the end of January in order for Google to “complete updates or launch a new version of its software for Google TV,” according to a report in Digitimes. (See Google TV Stumbles Out of the Blocks and Google TV Guns for Cable Deals .)

  • In Demand’s 3D Yule Log On Demand earned a mixed review from The New York Times . At first glance, reporter Allesandra Stanley says she “couldn’t tell it was in 3-D except when I took off the 3-D glasses and saw two images instead of one.” But after In Demand engineers gave her a primer on how to view 3D videos, Stanley said she began to appreciate the 3D effect. “It didn’t take much to lean back and see the screen as an actual fireplace set deep into the wall.”

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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