Last updated: March 11, 2010 - 9:19am
Many of the country's biggest television providers have signed on to a petition asking the government to revamp station retransmission rules. Cablevision, Charter, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable and Verizon all joined the coalition of providers and nonprofit groups in signing the petition on Tuesday. But the nation's biggest cable company, Comcast, was missing.
Comcast finds itself in a peculiar position because it is buying a majority stake in NBC Universal, which owns the NBC broadcast network. "Comcast is conspicuously absent" from the calls for changes "because it expects to be a big beneficiary of retransmission consent before long," Andrew Jay Schwartzman of the Media Access Project said. When asked about the coalition on Wednesday, Comcast said in a statement: "Everyone knows that retransmission consent needs to work better, and most importantly, consumers shouldn't be held hostage in these disputes. As we've said many times, as a company that will be in both the cable and broadcasting businesses, looking at the issue from both sides, we hope we can play a constructive role in working toward a resolution of these issues."
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