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FCC to NBC: No More Exclusive Video Deals




Comcast cleared one more hurdle last week in it’s bid to acquire control of NBC Universal. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski gave the deal his blessing as long as they agreed to certain conditions. Conditions that certainly took the merry out of Hulu’s Christmas.

Says the Wall Street Journal:

According to people close to the FCC negotiations, those conditions would require that Comcast make NBC Universal and its other Comcast-owned video content available to pay-TV competitors at reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms. He also wants to impose conditions that would require Comcast to offer NBC Universal programming to other online video providers.

Right now, Hulu is the preferred carrier of all NBC programming online. They do syndicate out the video feeds to other third party sites, but they still get a piece of the pie and control of what and where it goes.

Under this new condition, that relationship would have to end — maybe. Some people are saying that we’re not getting the full picture, so to speak. That the condition may only mean that Hulu has to continue with the third party offerings. That’s a far cry from telling NBC they need to sever their exclusive ties with Hulu.

Why the confusion? Because right now, it’s all supposition based on news leaking from the hill. In a press conference, reporters were told that this was just a starting place and that the conditions would likely evolve as they moved through the process.

Whatever decisions are made, the FCC says they’re only looking after the public interest. There will be no more denying the public’s right to watch The Office when and where they wish. Now, that’s democracy in action.