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BUSINESS
May 24, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Summer's here - or just about - and Comcast Corp. is looking to make cable-TV viewing easier at the Shore. The cable giant says that its 10 Shore service centers will be open on Sunday and Monday for the first time on this Memorial Day Weekend. Those centers, several of which were enlarged, are located in Absecon, Avalon, Brick, Eatontown, Long Beach Island, Manahawkin, Northfield, Ocean City, Toms River and Wildwood. Hours for most of the stores will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The centers also will be open this Saturday and most Saturdays through the summer, though with varying hours.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. held an uneventful shareholders meeting Wednesday, during which chief executive Brian Roberts reiterated his sentiment that he was "extremely excited" about a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable Inc., and unionized Comcast technicians pressured the company to improve its treatment of them. The Chicago union, one of the few recognized by Comcast, is negotiating a new contract. Roberts said the meeting was not the venue for bargaining. After the meeting at the Kimmel Center, about 50 antimerger protesters on the sidewalk chanted "Comcast has the tower and the people have the power," calling it a peoples' vote on the merger.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
UnitedHealth Group has declared its experiment with using Comcast's video-on-demand service to deliver a weight-loss program a success. But the Minnesota health insurer has no immediate plans to continue using cable TV to coax clients to adopt healthier habits that could lead to lower health-care costs. Instead, it is selling a Web-based version of the program to employers who want to prevent expensive chronic medical problems in overweight workers. Such efforts to make weight-loss programs easily available to more consumers are becoming more popular, experts say. The goal of the program, offered to Comcast viewers in Philadelphia and Knoxville, Tenn., was for participants at risk of developing diabetes to lose 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight.
NEWS
May 23, 2014
CONSUMERS UNION hates Kabletown, thinks it's too big already and wants it to grow no more. Nonprofit Consumers Union says it works to make for a "fair, just and safe marketplace for all consumers. " Kabletown is what Comcast was called on Tina Fey's brilliant "30 Rock," the title being shorthand for the headquarters of NBC Universal, which Comcast bought from GE. Yes, Philadelphia's Comcast. Wednesday morning, when Comcast held its annual shareholders meeting at the Kimmel Center, Consumers Union and other big-is-bad groups planned to crash it to protest Comcast's proposal to swallow Time Warner.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Several groups plan to protest the Comcast Corp. shareholders meeting Wednesday morning, saying that Comcast's deal to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. would be bad for consumers. About 100 people have indicated that they would participate in a demonstration outside the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on the 300 block of South Broad Street, organizers said Tuesday. The Comcast shareholders meeting is to begin at 9 a.m. in the Perelman Theater. Doors are to open at 8. Consumers Union, Free Press, and Common Cause are among the organizations sending officials, said Hannah Sassaman, policy director for the Media Mobilizing Project in Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Comcast Corp. faced a four-hour grilling on Thursday by House lawmakers over its proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., with a former U.S. Justice Department official saying the deal was anti-competitive and "very likely illegal. " The hearing by a House Judiciary subcommittee broke only once for about 10 minutes as lawmakers asked questions that ranged from cable-TV rate hikes to the city-focused Comcast dropping a popular rural cable-TV channel in Colorado and New Mexico.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp.'s $45.2 billion deal for Time Warner Cable Inc. will get another public airing in Washington on Thursday with a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. This is the second hearing on Capitol Hill over the giant merger; the Senate Judiciary Committee held one last month. Though Congress cannot derail the deal or negotiate conditions, the hearings are a forum for opponents and lawmakers to voice concerns and raise issues. Former Justice Department antitrust attorney Allen P. Grunes is among those scheduled to testify.
NEWS
May 9, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Over the last several months, officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Comcast Corp. secretly negotiated an unprecedented $7.75 billion contract extension to keep the Olympic Games on NBC-TV and NBC-affiliated cable networks through 2032. The new Olympics deal skipped a bidding process that, experts said, could have brought significantly higher TV rights fees for the six additional Olympic Games. But the deal also guarantees the Olympics organization billions of dollars - even if the global economy tanks, or the red-hot market for TV sports rights in the United States cools.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Univision Communications Inc. executive Randel "Randy" Falco is warning that Comcast Corp.'s proposed $45.2 billion deal for Time Warner Cable Inc. could create a single cable-TV company that serves 91 percent of the nation's Hispanic households. "That gives this new company staggering influence over Hispanic consumers," Falco said this week. The nation's Hispanic population would be concentrated in the big Comcast/Time Warner Cable markets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.
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