Comcast Today: Another Congressman Against The Merger

Politicians keep finding reasons not to like Comcast's deal. Will it matter?

We’ll skip the analysis today and head straight to the headlines:

Les Moonves Predicts Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger Will Be Approved. In a presentation at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco, Moonves touched on multiple aspects of the television business, including his prediction that the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable will be approved. When it is, CBS will “meld” its retransmission contracts with the two cable companies together, Moonves said. (Hollywood Reporter)

• Seven-term Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, challenged by opponent Ro Khanna to take a stand on the impending $45 billion mega-merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable,said Tuesday that he opposes the deal as “not in the best interests of my constituents.” The statement he’s just released to us: “After taking the time to consider the available information regarding the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, I’ve come to the conclusion that this merger is not in the best interests of my constituents. I have long advocated for policies that protect and enhance consumer choice, increase competition, enable innovation and promote network neutrality. This merger has the potential to harm these principles, and I believe it should not be approved.’ (SFGate)

In the race to deliver television over the Internet, Charlie Ergen’sDish Network is pulling ahead.With a groundbreaking agreement this week with Walt Disney Co., the satellite-TV company is poised to be the first to offer an Internet-based competitor to cable TV, a new kind of business that other major companies such as Intel Corp. and Apple Inc. have tried — and so far failed — to deliver. … The first step may be to reach an accord with NBCUniversal, owned by rival Comcast Corp. Because of a regulatory agreement, the network has to offer Internet rights to anyone who has already secured such a deal with another major programmer. The requirement was part of the consent decree for Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal. (Bloomberg)

Comcast said it is closing in on 1 million quasi-public hotspots deployed after standing up about 50,000 access points in Illinois, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. Comcast said it plans to deploy “hundreds of thousands” more this year in the region over the next several months.Those numbers include hotspots deployed in outdoor public areas and business locations that are part of a network operated by the “CableWiFi” roaming consortium (other members include Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications), as well as “Xfinity WiFi Neighborhood Hotspots” that are provided through the broadcast of a separate “XfinityWiFi” SSID signals in customer DOCSIS wireless gateways.Currently, only Comcast customers have access to the new home-as-a-hotspot signals, which the MSO began to light up last June. The MSOs behind the CableWiFi initiative have deployed more than 200,000 hotspots. Comcast is only disclosing its total WiFi hotspot deployments, and is not breaking out how many are being applied to the cross-MSO roaming initiative and how many are coming way of its neighborhood hotspot project. (Multichannel News)