As an NBC affiliate in four of its 15 markets, Barrington Broadcasting Group certainly has a stake in the pending acquisition of a controlling stake in NBC Universal by cable giant Comcast. So, Barrington CEO Jim Yager was asked for his take in the company’s quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts.
“I think the NBC-Comcast merger is going to happen. I think it’s going to happen with conditions,” Yager replied. “The big thing we want to see is Comcast keep the O&Os that NBC has because that makes them committed, in our mind, to the over-the-air broadcast [business].”
“They’ve already agreed not to migrate sports from the NBC Network over to cable. They’ve also said that they won’t use the affiliate agreements to negotiate retrans fees. We’re happy with that,” he said. “What we really want to see is them have to keep those 12 O&Os that they currently have because that keeps them committed to the broadcast side of the business.”