No one's enamored of cable companies. That includes Comcast, which is so despised it was ranked the second-worst
company in the U.S. and compared
to Hurricane Katrina. So when Comcast secured purchase
of NBC Universal this morning, many fans of NBC programming from Law
& Order to Rachel Maddow fretted that Comcast would, in one way or another, ruin
Tuesday we profiled what the new Comcast-NBC behemoth would look like
, and we covered the initial speculation
when the deal first become a possibility. Now that it's a reality, here's what people are saying about the $30 billion deal.
- Free On-Demand! PaidContent's Staci Kramer reports that Comcast is "promising that at least 75 percent of our On Demand programming be
available to subscribers at no extra charge for the three-year period
after closing and that NBCU broadcast content of the kind currently
being made available at a per-episode charge on Comcast’s On Demand
service will be made available at no cost to the consumer."
- Immediate Movie-to-TV Time's James Poniewozik speculates, "there is increasing talk about monkeying with the 'window'—that is, the
amount of time you have to wait after a movie is in theaters before you
can see it on demand, download it, rent it, buy it, etc. Take away the
window, and the next Twilight movie becomes a high-profile Friday-night
TV show. Now, there are plenty of people arguing for preserving the
window, but it's already started to erode for some movies. And what
studio might be especially aggressive about experimenting with it? Why,
a troubled movie studio... like Universal."
- All Content Everywhere All The Time Yahoo Tech's Deborah Yao writes, "For entertainment viewers, the deal means Universal Pictures movies could get to cable faster. TV
shows could appear on mobile phones and other devices faster as part of
Comcast's plans to let viewers watch programs wherever they want.
Comcast already is letting subscribers watch cable TV shows online in
trials, with a nationwide launch in December."
- Better NBC Shows Media Post's Wayne Friedman gets excited. "As a cable network, NBC would be freed up content-wise.
After all, viewers were promised when the cable industry was starting
up decades ago that programming would be daring and original, in part
because cable shows wouldn't be restricted by FCC content and language
rules. I'm not saying the freedom to curse will bring back
viewers, but it'll send a creative signal to TV producers that future
video content under Comcast is truly held in high regard."
Worse NBC News Time's James Poniewozik adds, "This is also speculative, but the NBC affiliates—already chafing at how
they were thrown under the bus by the decision to give them a weaker
news lead-in with Jay Leno—probably have even more reason to be nervous
about their place, their importance and their leverage in the Comcast
universe. Comcast is a cable company, and is probably not inclined to
be too sentimental about the legacy or value of local TV stations."
- 'TV Everywhere' BeetTV's Andy Plesser insists it's happening. "As the power of the broadcast networks have fallen and cable has risen,
so has the emerging opportunities online and the big cable operators
stand to profit in the online world. The catalyst for the television
business online will be something coined 'TV Everywhere.'"
- Politicians Hate Comcast Too CNET's Marguerite Reardon suggests "cable-bashing" could "undo the deal." She writes, "The biggest problem for the deal could be the fact that GE and Comcast
will try to close it during a midterm election year. Politicians taking
sides on Net neutrality issues and the national broadband plan may find
it easy to bash Comcast. And a marriage between the nation's largest
cable and Internet service provider and one of the nation's three
broadcast TV stations may ignite old fights over media ownership, a la
carte billing, retransmission consent, and cable prices."
- ABC News Piles On Correspondents from ABC News took the opportunity to poke fun at NBC. In reference to Comcast's Philadelphia headquarters, Jake Tapper tweeted, "the Comcast deal means NBC News Prez/fellow Philly boy Steve Capus will get better Phillies/Iggles/76ers tix. Curse him!!!!" John Berman cited NBC News correspondent Mark Potter, "If you are driving by Tiger Woods stakeout in FL, and angry, yell at Comcast's Mark Potter, not me."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.