Comcast, NBCU Agree to More Hispanic Programming, Hiring

Part of an agreement to help win Hispanic groups OK of their $30 billion deal

Last Updated: June 30, 2010 @ 3:23 PM

Comcast and NBC Universal are agreeing to step up Hispanic programming and hiring as part of an agreement to help win Hispanic groups OK of their $30 billion deal.

Comcast has come in for criticism for underrepresentation of Hispanics on its board, while NBCU has drawn criticism for not having enough Hispanic execs.

The agreement was announced Wednesday with the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Some of the groups have previously questioned the deal.

Three weeks ago at a congressional hearing in Los Angeles, Comcast and NBCU announced a series of steps to boost its diversity efforts.

Among the steps announced then were plans to add at least three channels with substantial interest from minorities to Comcast systems, plans to boost use of minority contractors and vendors, and plans to create diversity councils to advise on African American, Latino, Asian Pacific and other diverse communities.

Wednesday’s announcement added detail to the Hispanic part of the commitment.

Among new elements:

— Each of the Telemundo TV stations NBCU owns will launch another multicast digital channel within a year of the deal’s closing with new channel carrying additional Spanish language programming.

— Comcast video on demand service will start offering programming from Telemundo and mun2, Telemundo’s youth oriented second network.

— Comcast will add a number of new independently-owned and –operated channels to its systems starting next year and promises that among those added will be channels that are American Latino-operated. The commitment is to English-language as well as Spanish language channels.

— NBCU is committed to increasing news and information choices for Hispanic viewers, including a plan to work with an independent producer on a weekly business news program.

— Comcast will add a Hispanic to its corporate board within two years.

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