On Thursday, it was announced that Comcast will be buying a controlling share of NBC television. Bloggers around the world are speculating as to what this will mean for the future of television – both online and offline. Consumer Right’s groups are protesting to this deal quite loudly. They feel combining Comcast’s power over cable and Internet connections with NBCUs television stations and movie studio will give the conglomerate entirely too much control. Other encampments, meanwhile, applaud this move – hoping that the merger will bring even better programming to already strong NBC.
I can see both sides of this coin from where I sit, honestly. I am a Comcast customer. While I’m one of the lucky ones who has nearly always been very happy with their service, I also hate the fact that I have to use Comcast. I don’t feel as though they listen to what their customers really want most of the time. This causes me concern when thinking of them having control over what will be available for me to watch on television. Admittedly, I watch very little TV. Who the heck has time for that? But when I do, it’s almost always something on NBC. What’s going to happen to my favorite shows? Will they still be there? Am I going to get stuck with a host of junk that I’d never watch?
What many people don’t realize is that Comcast already owns several television channels, including E! Entertainment, the Golf channel, G4 and even PBS Sprout. They are already controlling our content, in more ways than one.
Some people are pondering the thought of Comcast becoming the one true “powerhorse” when it comes to entertainment options. With this acquisition, Comcast could potentially start making certain programs available only to their customers… ones who subscribe to both their Internet services, and cable television services. This would effectively make them the undisputed King in the area of competitive services amongst other providers. They would no longer have to compete with their prices, nor their actual level of service. They would simply win based on content availability. Is that right?
What are your thoughts on this? Is this merger going to bring about positive change in our television and entertainment experiences? Or do you foresee nothing but disaster and power trips?