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Comcast/NBC Deal: What It May Mean for Consumers We’ve already weighed in, now check out why Consumer Reports and Consumers Union think this merger will hurt consumers. [Consumer Reports Electronics]
I mentioned in a comment yesterday that I thought the greatest problem in this type of merger is that it put control of the creative portion of media in the hands of the distribution portion with the result that the only shows on television will be those that appeal to the lowest common denominator. While that may seem to be the case now, there are alternatives available. Don’t like NBC? There’s always ABC or CBS, or CW or Fox or whatever. But if your distributor cable company chooses to make it inconvenient to view the alternatives, maybe by placing the alternative networks in a higher-priced tier, then what are you going to do.
ABC was once part of NBC. One was the red channel and one was the blue channel. In an effort to diversify the airwaves, ABC was spun off as its own network at government demand. I would hope that the government would consider diversification here as well. While this type of merger would probably have slipped through on greased skids during the Bush Administration, that hopefully will not be the case during the Obama Administration. If FTC, FCC and DOJ let this one occur, then there is no limit to any merger, ever and monopoly will be the order of the day.
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