The Federal Communications Commission voted 4-1 this afternoon to approve the Comcast-NBCu joint venture. As I said in a recent post, the deal could present real benefits for Black entertainment moguls of the future IF we fight for real investment in programming for people of color. The companies have delivered thanks to strong leadership from the FCC.
I'd like to thank FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for raising the diversity issues in May and prompting the public and congressional hearings that led to Comcast-NBCu making several ground-breaking guarantees, including the commitment to launch eight independently owned programming channels targeting diverse audiences. For some proverbial chicken littles of the media industry, today's approval of this deal represents the media sky falling, but for those who are running and growing independent media companies, this represents the greatest opportunity to develop and distribute diverse programming since the early days of cable.
Commissioner Clyburn, the Civil Rights organizations, members of the Congressional Black Caucus and key executives at Comcast-NBCu should be applauded for their efforts to create a framework that will dramatically increase the investment in and quantity of diverse programming developed and produced by minority content creators and entrepreneurs. Let the building begin.
Will Griffin is the Chairman and CEO of Hip Hop on Demand which is available through Comcast, Cox and other cable systems.