Comcast and NBCUniversal File Third Annual Compliance Report on NBCUniversal Deal
On Friday, Comcast and NBCUniversal filed our third annual report detailing implementation of the conditions adopted by the FCC in the NBCUniversal Transaction Order. As we’ve grown over the years through various strategic acquisitions, we have entered into those transactions steadfast in our commitment to fulfill our promises to both our customers and our communities. Building on the success reported in our first and second annual reports, we have continued to meet and in many cases exceed our obligations. We intend to keep over-delivering on our commitments and we are proud to share the highlights of the past year:
Broadband Deployment and Adoption
We surpassed every broadband requirement in the Order by:
Connecting an estimated 1 million low-income Americans, or more than 250,000 families, to the Internet at home through our Internet Essentials broadband adoption program;
Expanding our broadband network by 6,289 miles or 141% of the total 4,500 miles required to satisfy the year-three commitment. In addition, Comcast extended its broadband plant to 718,511 additional homes, or 180% of the year-three milestone of 400,000 homes-passed;
Providing an additional 664 courtesy video and broadband Internet access accounts to schools, libraries, and other community institutions in underserved areas in which broadband penetration is low and there is a high concentration of low income residents, 64 more than were need to satisfy the year-three requirement; and
Far exceeding the requirement to have a broadband service tier of at least 12 Mbps down in our DOCSIS 3.0 markets. In fact, the Performance tier in all top 30 markets is at least 20 Mbps down and all top 30 markets also have the Extreme 105 Mbps down tier.
We continued to enter into a variety of content arrangements with OVDs, including new or renewed agreements with Amazon and Netflix, among others, and we completed deals with a variety of MPVDs for the third year in a row without resort to arbitration.
We surpassed the required number of VOD content choices in the following categories, all of which are available to our subscribers at no extra cost:
Total children’s VOD programming choices during 2013 averaged 6,871 per month. This represents 4,093 more children’s VOD choices than the 2,778 average monthly choices available during the year preceding the Closing of the Transaction. Comcast also launched its Xfinity TV "Summer of Kids" event to spotlight its substantial library of family-friendly VOD content, along with more than 1,000 downloadable children’s assets;
By January 2014, Telemundo and mun2 VOD programming choices on Comcast’s central storage numbered 335, surpassing the year-three requirement by at least 35 choices;
Free VOD choices averaged 38,991 per month, nearly doubling the 20,000 choices needed to satisfy the year-three requirement; and
Broadcast VOD choices averaged 778 per month for a cumulative total of about 9,000 choices during the year.
The results of the VOD and Online PEG trials that Comcast conducted in five pilot communities from February 2011 to January 2014 were very positive. Collaboration between Comcast and the pilot communities ensured that each platform launched in the required timeframe with broad support from the local content creators.
We amply exceeded the public service announcement (PSA) spend requirements in key categories:
In 2013, our qualifying networks (those with a higher concentration than the median cable network of adults 25-54 with children in the household) aired PSAs with a value of over $61 million on the topics of digital literacy, parental controls, nutritional guidelines, and childhood obesity – this includes the PSAs on childhood obesity that aired at least once during each hour of NBC’s "core" educational/instructional programming, plus an average of two times a day on Sprout. Our investment exceeded the $15 million annual spend required by the Condition by more than $46 million, for a cumulative three year sum of $102 million – that is, $57 million more than the condition’s requirement.
In addition, our networks ran close to $13 million worth PSAs in support of Common Sense Media’s digital literacy project during 2013.
We preserved and enhanced local news by making strategic investments in our owned stations, including the expansion of local news, news-gathering equipment, transmission upgrades and technology, and distribution platforms. During 2013, the 10 NBC Owned Television Stations produced and aired approximately 2,500 hours of regularly scheduled local news programming over and above the amount aired in the year preceding the Closing of the Transaction, surpassing the requirement to add 1,000 hours or new, local news programming by approximately 1,500 hours. At the Telemundo Station Group, the stations aired approximately 2,300 hours of regularly scheduled local news programming over and above the amount aired in the year preceding the Closing of the Transaction, not including the news from the recently acquired stations. This total exceeds the requirement in this condition by approximately 1,300 hours.
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS) inaugurated of a state-of-the-art broadcasting and multimedia facility. The building is also home to Telemundo Dallas (KXTX), and the NBC News Dallas-Fort Worth network bureau.
Telemundo Philadelphia (WWSI), one of two new stations added to the Telemundo Station Group in 2013, began airing two new, Spanish-language newscasts on January 13, 2014 during weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 P.M., the first-ever local newscast for the station. In support of the launch, the station recruited 15 Spanish-speaking journalists and other professionals to fill the roles of reporter, producer, anchor, and photographer, as well as positions in sales, finance, and engineering.
Comcast also made several highly-publicized launches of new local and public interest content on its VOD and Online platforms.
Comcast’s VOD platform once again hosted public interest programming as part of its celebration of 2013’s Black History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, LGBT Pride Month, Native American Heritage Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month. Many of these public interest programming choices were also available online at XfinityTV.com.
Comcast also launched http://Xfinity.com/celebrateblacktv, a new premier Internet destination featuring special programming celebrating Black History Month available across Xfinity platforms – TV, VOD, online and on mobile devices – recognizing the many contributions of the African-American culture and community to the US and the world.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr., we launched http://HisDreamOurStories.com, an award-wining website featuring more than 80 interviews with civic leaders, elders, clergy, and activists involved in the Civil Rights movement.
It is simply indisputable that we have honored – in fact, over-delivered – on our commitments. And we’ll continue to do so.