December 3rd, 2009

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The Morning News Brings Me My Work Load

Comcast/NBCU merger, while no surprise, does trash most of today's plans.

So what happens now to MSNBC? Brian Roberts is as much a conservative as Rupert Murdoch, and Comcast has had some previous issues where they blocked content due to ideology (mostly political ads, which they can do on cable) or economic self-interest (they have generally blocked advertising on their owned systems and content by DSL providers and DBS providers). Still, MSNBC is fairly successful and messing with that brand would provoke serious customer backlash.
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My Take on the Comcast/NBC Merger

I propose a new metric for measuring antitrust impact of mergers, the uniquely Washington “Trade Association Scale.” How many trade associations will you qualify for after the merger. If the number is too high, that shows you are getting into far too many lines of business to be healthy, because you have too much influence on everybody else's business. And on the Trade Association Scale, the Comcast/NBC merger ranks a 10 out of 10.
http://www.wetmachine.com/totsf/item/1762
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Link Harvest: Best Article Yet On Link Between Comcast/NBC, TV Evrywhere, and why It's Bad.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/magazine/15FOB-Phenomenon-t.html?_r=1

This article says ties together very well a number of threads I've discussed in recent days -- that the near total overlap of broadband access providers with paid video service providers creates an enormous incentive to diddle delivery of online video content to your TV to prevent broadband subscribers from "cutting the cord" and giving up cable subscriptions (and challenging cable operator control over video providers). The Comcast/NBC merger is partly Comcast's effort to lock up enough content to ensure that doesn't happen.