SOURCE ] Seeking to neutralize political opposition to its proposed merger with NBC Universal Inc., Comcast Corp. says it will add four cable networks owned, or partly owned, by African Americans over the next eight years, as well as a new English-language channel aimed at Asian Americans.
Those provisions are part of separate agreements Comcast executives signed with civil rights groups.
The African American agreement will be filed Friday with the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast said, and the Asian American agreement was filed earlier in the week. Both call for Comcast to boost diversity in its corporate management and entertainment content and to establish councils to review diversity projects.
One criterion the FCC will evaluate in considering the "public benefit" of the Comcast-NBC Universal deal is the diversity of voices in media that will result from the cable and entertainment giants' merger.
African American groups that signed the agreement to be filed with the FCC were the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, according to a memorandum of understanding between the groups and Comcast.
According to that agreement, the four channels added to the Comcast lineup will be majority-owned or substantially owned by African Americans. The channels will be added to Comcast over eight years.