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Combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable Would Serve 91% of Latino Households

Phillip Dampier April 29, 2014 Comcast/Xfinity, Competition, Public Policy & Gov't, Time Warner Cable No Comments

UnivisionThe head of the country’s largest Spanish-language television network Univision said on Monday that Comcast’s proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable could be “bad for Hispanic audiences.”

Univision President Randy Falco told Wall Street analysts that the combined cable company would serve 91 percent of all Latino households and be the dominant distributor of multichannel programming in 19 of the 20 largest Spanish-language television markets.

“We are hoping at the very least there is that scrutiny and potentially much tougher restrictions added to the existing [Comcast-NBCUniversal] consent decree that will protect Comcast competitors such as Univision who are serving minority communities in particular,” said Falco.

Although Falco did not directly oppose the merger, he did express concern that Comcast would not treat independent Spanish language networks like Univision as well as NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo network. Falco noted Comcast has refused to carry Univision’s sports network. Time Warner Cable does.

“Either Comcast doesn’t understand that soccer is a passion point for Hispanics or they don’t support competitors who have competing services,” Falco said. “My fear is that the latter is the case and this type of anti-competitive conduct would continue.”

Falco is among the first media executives to publicly criticize the merger. Critics of the deal say programmers are keeping quiet fearing future retaliation from Comcast.

 

 

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