Comcast Political Giving Up 61% Since Announcing NBC Deal

Since reaching a deal to buy NBC Universal in Dec. 2009, Comcast has increased its PAC contributions to election campaigns by 61% over the amount it gave in the same period leading up to the 2008 elections.

From BusinessWeek:

From December 2009, when the deal was reached, through August 2010, Comcast’s contributions to federal candidates and political parties rose to $1.1 million from $682,450 in the same period two years earlier, Federal Election Commission records show. The money came from the company-run political action committee that funnels donations from employees….

Comcast’s political action committee became the sixth biggest-spending contributor for 2010 candidates among corporations, up from ninth place in 2008.

The donations come as the FCC and other regulatory bodies go through the process of reviewing the deal amid concern that the country’s largest cable company would be in control of a major broadcast network.

According to the FEC report, Comcast donated funds to 91 of the 99 House members and three of the five senators who wrote the FCC in support of the NBC sale.

A Comcast spokesperson downplays the increased spending, calling it only a “modest uptick… primarily due to the increased number of House and Senate seats that are competitive this cycle.”

While other cable and satellite providers like Dish Network, DirecTV and the American Cable Association, all increased their political giving over the same time periods, the total increase in contributions was only 3% for a total of $382,550.

Comcast Campaign Giving Jumps by Half as U.S. Weighs NBC Deal [BusinessWeek]