In the ongoing effort to grease the wheels for approval of the pending merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, Comcast has told Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) that it will institute diversity policies above and beyond those already promised. One key addition is the pledge to carry at least 10 independent channels, including four primarily owned by African-American investors, within eight years of closing the transaction.
In a letter, Comcast said it would:
* increase “training, internship and scholarship” programs for minority students
* add the ten indy nets, on “commercially comparable, reasonable and competitive terms” with similar programming.
* expand the distribution of African-American networks
* add African-American on-demand programming
* increase diversity of programming in general
* create a venture capital fund of up to $20M to seed minority entrepreneurial efforts
* seek to sell diversititures to minority ownership, such as KWHY-TV in Los Angeles (it is enlisting MMTC to assist in this effort)