Comcast Tells Its Side of Estrella TV Retrans Story

E-mails Hill Staffers on Carriage Impasse

Comcast wants to make sure Capitol Hill gets its side of the story on the carriage fight with Estrella TV.

The MSO was e-mailing staffers its statement on the impasse last week with a request that they follow up with Comcast if Liberman Broadcasting-owned Spanish language network Estrella makes its own Hill pitch on the fight, according to a source,

Some legislators have expressed concern about the reach of a combined Comcast/TWC, arguing that it could be used to favor its own content, like Comcast-owned Spanish-language net Telemundo.

Certainly Estrella is trying to leave that impression. “With Estrella TV now surpassing Telemundo in the Los Angeles market and elsewhere, it is troubling to see Comcast act irresponsibly by putting its own self-serving business interests ahead of a small minority-owned company," Estrella said last week of the impasse, which affects three markets, Houston, Denver and Salt Lake City.

Their carriage contracts in the three markets expire Feb. 19.

"Comcast already distributes Estrella TV programming broadly as Estrella’s largest distributor and we have been negotiating in good faith for months with Liberman Broadcasting to continue carrying its broadcast signals in these three markets, which represent only 20 percent of our total Estrella distribution," Comcast told some Hill staffers. "Most importantly, Comcast is not dropping Estrella – it is Estrella that has decided to pull its signal from Comcast customers.  In fact, we’ve offered to continue to carry their stations under the existing arrangements, which are the same terms we have with other, comparable networks." 

Comcast had no comment on the e-mail.

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