Comcast, NBC to sell 1 TV station in Los Angeles

May 10, 2010

(AP) -- NBC Universal will sell one of the three Los Angeles stations it owns as cable TV provider Comcast Corp. tries to clear regulatory hurdles so it can acquire a controlling stake in the entertainment company.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department are reviewing Comcast's proposal to buy a 51 percent stake of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.

Consumer advocates, and some lawmakers, say that the deal would strangle media competition and harm consumers. If approved, the deal would give Comcast control over the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, along with popular cable channels such as CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen and the Universal Pictures movie studio.

Station ownership is one of many issues under regulatory review.

NBC Universal currently owns the NBC station in Los Angeles, a Spanish-language Telemundo network station, and an independent Spanish-language station, KWHY.

Federal regulations usually bar companies from owning more than two stations in a local market. NBC has been operating under waivers from the FCC.

Comcast had previously said it would sell one of the three stations within six months of completing the purchase. NBC will now sell one of those stations before completing the sale, Comcast said in a letter to the FCC on May 4.

Because the Telemundo and NBC stations in Los Angeles are prominent ones in those networks, KWHY is the station most likely to be sold.

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