NBC Universal announced Monday it is launching nonstop local news and information channels in Dallas, Miami and California to fulfill part of the of the local programming condition imposed by the Federal Communications Commission as part of the Comcast merger.
Local stations owned and operated by Comcast-NBC Universal in all three markets will launch the channels this week, bringing the total number of markets with local, nonstop news channels to nine including Washington, D.C.
Opponents of the merger argued it would give Comcast too much influence in markets where the firm would be the dominant cable provider, dominant broadband provider and the owner and operator of the local NBC affiliate. The local programming conditions are aimed at preserving the amount of local and public interest content carried by NBC Universal under Comcast.
The firm agreed to produce 1,000 additional hours of local programming at the outset of the merger and will also produce an additional 1,000 hours of news and information programming for its Telemundo outlets, with further details coming this summer.
California's nonstop channel will combine the resources of NBC affiliates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego with each station airing and producing its own newscast for its local market. Miami's WTVJ will also expand its local nightly newscast to one hour from the current 30-minute format.