Affiliate associations for ABC, CBS and Fox have six items on their requirement list, and if they are made a condition of approval, they say they will essentially be willing to sit back and forever hold their peace at the nuptials of Comcast and NBC Universal.
In a filing with the FCC, the affiliates listed the conditions they want to see:
1. That the conditions will be in force for seven years or upon Comcast’s divestiture of NBC Television Network, should that event occur earlier.
2. There will be no discrimination by Comcast against ABC, CBS and Fox stations, in contrast to the way NBC stations are treated.
3. Comcast and NBCU will not collaborate on retransmission decision-making and negotiation. In other words, NBCU officials will solely negotiate with other non-Comcast MVPDs, and Comcast officials will solely negotiate with broadcast channels, not NBCU, and further, without any input from NBCU.
4. Comcast may not use terms agreed to with an NBC affiliate in reference to any legal proceeding of any kind involving retransmission with a non-NBCU station.
5. Comcast must negotiate retransmission and carriage “at arm’s length and in good faith with respect to non-NBCU stations.”
6. Comcast will not strive to create a competitive advantage for NBC stations over others in any way.
RBR-TVBR observation: As with the NBC affiliates, this is one group of businesses with a huge stake in this matter. Getting a nod of approval is a big plus for Comcast as it moves toward making its acquisition of NBCU happen.