Wednesday, January 19, 2011
FCC approves Comcast-NBC merger
Big media just got bigger.
The FCC approved the Comcast-NBC Universal deal on Tuesday more than a year after the deal was announced, with the Justice Department also giving its blessings.
And unlike the Sirius/XM merger, this deal wasn’t voted upon party lines.The FCC voted in favor of the deal 4-1 with Democratic commissioner Michael Copps the lone dissenter.
While it was a given the two Republican FCC Commissioners would vote in favor of the merger, the two Democrats – Commissioner Mingon Clyburn and Chairman Julius Genachowski – would only vote if the deal had certain conditions met, which Comcast agreed to.
Despite those conditions, many public interest groups were still opposed to the merger, and rival studios were concerned about Comcast – as a MSO (multiple system operator) – controlling how content is received into homes.
Among the conditions met include: protecting the development of Online competition, making comparable programming available on economically comparable prices, and offering standalone broadband Internet access services at reasonable prices – without purchasing a cable TV subscription.
To read the full list of conditions, click here.
Thought: Remember back in 2007 when the FCC held hearings regarding media consolidation here in Chicago? Wow, what a waste of time that was! Oh, and by the way… where was President Obama on this issue? Didn’t he say during his campaign that media consolidation was a top priority? Guess that was before the healthcare overhaul and giving away billions of dollars for pork projects. Mr. Obama's silence speak volumes. So much for this “change” he was peddling.
With Sirius/XM and now Comcast-NBC Universal, big media is just getting bigger, and will continue to do so, public opinion be damned. The big winners are the slimy, politicians from both parties, who sold out their constituents to line their pockets with lobbyist cash; Comcast, who record for customer service and even just maintaining its cable and Internet is horrible; and NBC, a network so ineptly run, it makes the day-to-day operations of the Cubs look like those of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
The losers? We, the public. Only in America where you can get rewarded with such mediocrity. Remember the Internet outage last fall which hit Comcast customers in the Chicago area and in four other states? Where are the congressional hearings? Oh, that’s right. The idiot politicians don’t have time for stuff like that – they have to run to the bank and get their checks from Comcast cashed before they bounce.
And worse, public outrage over this merger dissipated as the months went on. When it approved by the FCC today, the reaction was met with the loudest of yawns. It appears the outrage over Big Media has been replaced by outrage over Big Government, thanks to clowns like Michigan House Representative Fred Upton. Basically, his motto is f*** the consumer - it’s the corporations he only cares about.
So what’s the lesson here? The politicians don’t care about you, and neither does government bureaucrats. Big Media always gets want it wants, and the consumers are the ones getting stuck with the bill – a $169 monthly invoice from Comcast, to be exact.
Posted by T Dog at 12:46 AM