No Disney, Viacom execs on list for Comcast hearing

A Penn law professor and a consumer advocate are among witnesses.
A Penn law professor and a consumer advocate are among witnesses. (AP)
Posted: April 09, 2014

Six witnesses - among them the chief executive of an independent golf channel, a company that offers WiFi services, a consumer advocate, and a University of Pennsylvania law professor - are scheduled to testify Wednesday at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Comcast Corp.'s proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc.

Absent from the list released Monday were top executives of the Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., or other Hollywood content companies, who could testify to the buying power of the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable.

James L. Bosworth Jr. is the chairman and chief executive of the independent Back9Network, based in Hartford.

Bosworth could not be reached for comment, but he would likely testify regarding independent channels seeking TV distribution on the Comcast cable system, which after the merger would have 30 million subscribers.

Back9Network has said it was negotiating with cable-TV and satellite operators to launch this year on TV.

Richard Sherwin is chief executive of Spot On Networks, which provides WiFi services to multifamily dwellings and commercial buildings. The company is based in New Haven, Conn.

Sherwin was traveling and could not be reached for comment, his spokeswoman said. Comcast has been expanding rapidly into WiFi services. Some believe WiFi could offer competition to traditional wire-line broadband services.

Gene Kimmelman, the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit group Public Knowledge, is a former chief counsel for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. He also was the vice president for federal and international affairs at Consumers Union.

Christopher S. Yoo is a law professor at Penn who regularly speaks in Washington on telecommunications issues.

Testifying for Comcast will be David L. Cohen, executive vice president for government affairs and lobbying.

Arthur T. Minson, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will testify for Time Warner Cable.

Because Comcast has yet to release its public-interest statement as to why the government should approve the Time Warner Cable deal, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, committee chair, said he could schedule a second hearing.



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