If there was any question about the Federal Communications Commission looking hard at online video
distribution in its Comcast/NBCU merger review, there isn't any now.
The FCC Friday issued an "information and discovery" request to NBC Universal asking for specific information (59 separate requests, with multiple parts to many of those) on everything from an organizational chart for all of its divisions (#1) to a timeline for how it will divest KWHY-TV Los Angeles and resolve a newspaper/station crossownership issue involving KXAS-TV Fort Worth (#58 and #59). In between, online video distribution gets a lot of attention.
According to one industry source, such a data request usually does not come this early in the process, which is a good sign, they said. The deadline for the request is June 11.
There are also plenty of questions about delivery of video both via traditional means and over the Internet, including all discussion with online video distributors (Boxee, YouTube) and why they did or did not come to a deal/
It also wants "all strategic plans, policies, analyses, and presentations prepared for, presented to, reviewed by, discussed by, or considered by the Company's board of directors or the Company's executive management, or any member thereof, relating to the Company's entry into the distribution of Video Programming over the Internet."
To check out all the questions, click here.
The FCC has stopped the clock on the merger review (after only 29 days), but plans to restart it June 3. The data requests suggests they are ready to dig in. John Flynn, the outside manager for the process, comes aboard Monday.