comcast/nbc universal reaches agreement with asian american media organizations

By now, if you pay any attention to the media industry, you know that the merger between Comcast Corporation and NBC Universal is a pretty big deal. But did you know that it has implications for Asian Americans? So it seems: Comcast-NBCU Deal Would Create Minority Networks.

This week, five of the nation's leading Asian American media and civil rights organizations reached an agreement with Comcast/NBC Universal that will have lasting, landmark implications for diversity. Here are some excerpts from the Asian American Justice Center's press release:
The 16-page agreement addresses many aspects of media diversity and focuses on five main areas: corporate governance; employment/workforce recruitment and retention; procurement; programming; and philanthropy and community investments.


A key component is Comcast's commitment to expanding its distribution of Asian American owned, operated and targeted programming either through expanding the distribution of an existing channel or initiating a new channel. The channel will have 24/7 programming in English and will be rolled out in major Asian American media markets.


Comcast has also agreed to launch a new video-on-demand offering called Cinema Asian America as part of its standard digital package, ultimately becoming available to 18 million subscribers, which it will back up with marketing and communications plan. Additionally, Comcast will dedicate at least $1 million investment over three years to build a bigger pipeline for Asian American-themed programming. NBCU will build on its work with the Asian American Media Coalition on its efforts to feature Asian Americans in front of and behind the cameras for both television and film. And both companies will increase the news and information choices for Asian American viewers.


As for its governance, Comcast will make its "best efforts to fill a future board opening with an Asian American candidate" and designate a "senior-level" member of its external affairs and public policy staff as a community liaison. And it will appoint nine members to its new Asian American Advisory Council, four of whom will come from the ranks of the organizations that signed on to this memo of understanding.


Finally, Comcast and NBCU are committed to boosting diversity among the companies and businesses from which they procure goods and services. They will increase how much is spent on diverse business partners, including Asian American-owned enterprises.

This agreement is similar to ones Comcast has negotiated with other communities.
I highly doubt that Comcast/NBC really wanted to make all these changes and put up the money for these initiatives out of the goodness of its heart, but I'm glad that the Asian American community will be able to reap some of the benefits of this merger.

To read the full memo between Comcast/NBC Universal and the Asian American leadership organizations, go here. To see the Asian American Justice Center's letter to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the merger, go here.

angry archive