Christian groups seek Comcast's porn revenues before proposed merger

The Parents Television Council (PTC) and a handful of Christian groups have called on Comcast to disclose the amount of revenue it brings in from pornographic and adult entertainment programming before it merges with NBC Universal (NBCU).

The groups, which include James Dobson's organization Focus on the Family, want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider the company's porn revenues when judging if the merger is in the public interest, they wrote in a filing last week about the merger.

The U.S. Communications Act allows the FCC to use a "public interest" standard to evaluate the transfer of broadcast licenses.

"Comcast is one of the most far-reaching distributors of pornography in the communities it serves, raising serious questions about whether the company meets the character and public interest obligations required," said PTC President Tim Winter.

The criticism about the merger generally has centered on competition and media diversity issues, placing the groups' complaint outside the main concerns. 

The company sought to gain ground on media diversity complaints earlier this month by outlining new commitments, such as a promise to spend at least $7 million more on advertising in minority-owned media next year.

The merger is also under review at the Justice Department.

UPDATE:

Comcast's Sena Fitzmaurice sent this statement in responce to groups' concerns over porn revenues:

"Comcast empowers our customers to control what they are watching. Our Digital Cable service includes parental control features that allow parents to decide which programming is appropriate for their families. Our goal is to provide our customers with choice and control – maximizing programming options available to all of our customers, while also providing easy-to-use technology to let customers decide what their family may see. We work to empower our customers to make their own choices, rather than make choices for them."

*Updated at 2:44 p.m. on June 28 with a statement from Comcast.*