In his quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, LIN Media CEO Vince Sadusky was, not surprisingly, asked about the pending Comcast acquisition of a majority stake in NBC Universal. LIN is a 24% owner, with NBC 76%, of KXAS-TV Dallas and KNSD-TV San Diego.
Sadusky didn’t take the bait and comment on whether regulators might require Comcast to divest those stations to win approval of the NBCU deal, but he did have plenty to say about the pending combination of cable giant Comcast and the historic NBC broadcast operation. LIN, with a portfolio of stations covering all of the major networks, is active in multiple affiliate boards and Sadusky said he was pleased with the concessions that Comcast has agreed to make to the various affiliate groups to win their support for the deal.
“Which I think is terrific not only for NBC affiliates, but I think it is a wonderful development for broadcasting. And I think it’s a terrific affirmation of broadcast that you’ve got the largest cable company in the country that is very pro-broadcast and has said all of the right things through the process,” Sadusky said.
“We believe ‘em. We believe that they honestly like diversification and they like the broadcast business. They think it’s got a bright future. They feel that the whole retransmission dam is busted wide open and going forward that’s gonna be a value flow back to the broadcast area. So we view them as – everything we’ve heard so far – as potentially very good partners, not only to us in our joint venture, but in the many television stations that we affiliate with for NBC,” Sadusky said.
Should something happen in the regulatory process that would require Comcast-NBCU to make divestitures, Sadusky said it would be “all in their hands” what to do.