WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- ivi TV, the online cable system, responded today to Comcast's recent filing with the FCC. In a misguided attempt at damage control, and to quiet a rising chorus of voices in opposition to the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger, ranging from members of Congress to The New York Times, Comcast brings new meaning to the word disingenuous by filing a response to ivi TV's previously filed objections to the Comcast-NBCU merger that is clearly designed to not only mislead the FCC, but also to blatantly suppress incriminating evidence from the FCC. It is ivi TV's informed opinion that Comcast's contracts with broadcasters have not been seen by the DOJ or the FCC because Comcast considers them too confidential for prying Federal investigators.
"Comcast's monopolistic behavior witnessed prior to the proposed merger's approval is a harbinger of things to come," said Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of ivi TV. "It will likely only worsen if this merger is approved judging by the apparent bad faith behind this recent tactic to both deceive and hide smoking gun evidence of their anti-competitive behavior. It's predictable that the stakeholders in the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger would work only in their own best interest and not in the best interest of the consumer. Unless Comcast has something to hide, we demand that they comply with the FCC request to hand over copies of their contracts."
The Comcast response is further evidence of its failure to fully inform the FCC and provide for a level playing field in the marketplace. In their filing, they evoke vague promises, which are illusory and easily subverted. Comcast wants nothing more than to maintain their stranglehold on the marketplace and choke off innovation and fair competition.
"The Comcast response to ivi TV's objections to the Comcast/NBCU merger fails to squarely address the significant issues raised by Comcast's aggressive actions in the marketplace," said Ron Erickson, ivi TV's Chairman. "Comcast continues to obfuscate, refusing to provide the FCC copies of their exclusive agreements with broadcasters, which is unacceptable conduct for a company asking permission on such a weighty matter."
Before further considering the proposed merger, the FCC should require
- All confidential contracts from Comcast to be immediately disclosed to the FCC.
Further, the FCC should require that Comcast shall not:
- Prevent, as a condition of carriage on Comcast's cable or online video platforms, unaffiliated programmers from making their content available to competing online video platforms
- Require, as a condition of carriage on Comcast's cable or online video platforms, "windows" for the distribution of unaffiliated content on competing online video services that exceed the joint venture's own windowing practices for making content available through Comcast's cable OnDemand or on Fancast Xfinity TV services.
- Prevent, as a condition of carriage on Comcast's cable or online video platform, unaffiliated programmers from making their content available to online video distributors that do not authenticate that their users subscribe to an MVPD service (i.e. online programming cannot be tied to a cable subscription)
Executives from ivi TV are in Washington, DC all week meeting with its allies in the Congress, DOJ and the FCC. ivi TV wants a broad and comprehensive scrutiny of Comcast's existing contracts with cable and broadcast channels to ensure a level playing field that affords unfettered access to content providers that desire to partner with the innovative upstart.
About ivi TV ™
ivi TV endeavors to make the world a better place by providing a high-quality viewing experience while offering consumers what they want in the way they want it, with more choices, less hardware, and higher standards than other modes of online content delivery. At the same time, ivi TV increases viewers for channels and advertisers, continuing and adding to the live television tradition in an innovative and sustainable manner. Consumers, broadcasters and advertisers alike will agree that live television, most notably sports and news programming, is here to stay. The solution is ivi TV. And the time is now. ivi, Inc., is based in Seattle, WA. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.tv.
SOURCE ivi TV