The most camera-ready opponent of Comcast’s merger plans with Time Warner Cable — who, ironically, owes his big break to Comcast-owned NBC — went on CBS This Morning to again blast the proposed merger, saying “consumers will end up paying more, there will be less competition, there will be less innovation and, worse, even worse service.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) this morning said he sent out an email to his constituents to get their “feelings about what kind of service they get from Comcast” and whether they think the proposed deal “will be good.” “I got 60,000 responses, and believe me, people don’t like their service from Comcast, and they don’t think this deal is going to help them,” said Franken — who, before entering politics in a big way was a writer and performer on the now Comcast-owned NBC’s Saturday Night Live from its launch in the mid 1970s until 1980, returning in 1985 for another decade. Watch his appearance here:
Franken matters because he sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee which, later this month, will hold hearings on the reported $45 billion deal that would give Comcast 30 million subscribers in 43 of the nation’s top 50 markets — aka about 30% of pay TV customers. Franken reminded CBS This Morning anchors this morning he hadn’t been any too happy about the Comcast/NBCU merger either.
Franken laughed when CBS News’ Senior Business and Economics Correspondent Anthony Mason brought up Comcast’s argument that it and Time Warner Cable don’t overlap in markets, explaining, “I’m laughing because we’re supposed to take great comfort from the fact that this is the No. 1 cable company and the No. 2 and they don’t compete in any market, so they’re saying you should be happy that we have these monopolies and now we’re going to be one company with twice as much of a monopoly.”