Review of Comcast pornography connection requested


Media content watchdog Parents Television Council, along with a number of religious and other groups, want a full accounting of Comcast’s income from pornographic material before authorities give the go-ahead for its merger with NBC Universal.

Joining PTC in its request are American Family Association, Focus on the Family, Citizens for Community Values, Reclaim our Culture Kentuckiana and the Coalition for Marriage and Family.

“Comcast is one of the most far-reaching distributors of pornography in the communities it serves, raising serious questions about whether the company meets the character and public interest obligations required of each company that holds a broadcast license,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “As if competition and consumer choice issues that would inevitably be created by the Comcast-NBCU behemoth aren’t enough, this issue is yet another reason why the merger must be carefully scrutinized by the FCC.”

Winter continued, “The Commission should move swiftly to impose a condition on the merger that Comcast make its profits on adult entertainment public. It should also force Comcast to stipulate that it absolutely will not use the public airwaves to distribute pornographic material. Without such conditions, the Commission should not approve a transaction which transfers so many broadcast licenses. The public interest demands no less.”

RBR-TVBR observation: PTC would have a case, if it had a case for the banning of adult content channels. But it doesn’t. If grown adults wish to subscribe to adult content channels, and the channels are not generally accessible to the child-inclusive public, and access to these channels is available only as a result of a conscious decision to pay for that access, then it’s legal. Little thing called the First Amendment.

There are a lot of reasons to object to the marriage of Comcast and NBCU, not just from anti-consolidation watchdogs, but from media companies that will either compete with the merged entity, or will rely on it for access to subscribers or access to Comcast/NBCU programming. Lots of reasons. But this isn’t one of them.