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NEWS
June 14, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. is seeking to put its name in lights on top of one of the world's most famous and visible properties - 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan. A borough advisory board overwhelmingly approved on Thursday night the cable-TV giant's plan to remove the lighted General Electric signs atop the 70-story 30 Rock and replace them with the Comcast logo, including the NBC peacock, on the building's south and north sides, providing viewership uptown and downtown. A lighted NBC peacock would go on 30 Rock's west side, facing the Hudson River and the miles-long stretch of high-rise condo and apartment buildings that have sprouted on the New Jersey banks of the river.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Time Warner Cable Inc. shareholders met on a soggy Thursday morning here, a couple blocks off Columbus Circle, to hear chief executive Robert D. Marcus say he considers that the company's dismal 2013 performance is "old news," and that its proposed $45.2 billion acquisition by Comcast Corp. in an all-stock transaction is a "dream combination. " The sedate affair contained none of the drama that marked the Comcast shareholders' May gathering in Philadelphia, which was disrupted by about 50 protesters opposing the merger of the nation's two largest cable companies because of anti-competitive concerns and media concentration.
BUSINESS
June 6, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable-TV company, will hold its annual shareholder meeting Thursday in New York, and the proposed $45.2 billion merger with Comcast Corp. is not part of the agenda. The meeting follows a tumultuous year at Time Warner Cable in which the company lost hundreds of thousands of cable-TV customers and then became a target of an unfriendly takeover by Charter Communications Inc. Comcast, the nation's largest cable-TV operator, negotiated a friendly all-stock deal to acquire Time Warner Cable that was announced in February.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has pegged Time Warner Cable Inc. as the nation's most unloved company. Based on phone and online surveys, it rated Time Warner Cable's Internet service as 236th out of 236 companies in customer satisfaction - a list that included Coke, Campbell Soup, Nissan, Allstate, and Verizon Communications. Time Warner Cable's TV service rated 235th. Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity Internet service placed at 234 out of 236 and its TV service landed at 232 in the list released in May. Would merging these two cable giants in a megadeal benefit consumers?
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.
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