“Federal regulators on Tuesday approved Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal, allowing for a joint venture that puts a vast library of television shows and movies under the control of the nation’s biggest cable and broadband Internet service provider.” (Cecilia Kang, THE WASHINGTON POST)
In the past several months, ‘Comcast’ and ‘NBC’ have become both popular topics on search engines as well as common source of conversation. Comcast and NBC have finally reached an agreement after discussing consolidation for almost a year.
A few days ago, “the FCC approved the merger of NBC Universal and Comcast, which means Comcast will now own 51% of NBC, and have stakes in CNBC, MSNBC, Hulu, and Telemundo” (Paul, Paragraph1). This merger is considered one of the most significant events in the history of modern media. Unfortunately for the corporations though. The Justice Department and FCC feel that such a massive concentration of power may not be good for the industry.
The merging between the two big corporations may begin shaping the industry into a monopoly. People fear that the new of the industry setup will give this newly formed corporation absolute power and the ability to control media in whatever ways they want.
Many discussions have begun circulating on the Internet. People have developed concerns about the effects of the merge. First, “the price of cable packages may go up.” (Kevin Whitelaw, paragraph2) This is the topic of most concern circulating on the Internet. Comcast ultimately did not give the best feedback when it came to prices and raising rates. Because of the new Comcast monopolistic characteristics, the FCC decided to intervene and ensure that Comcast did not withhold any of its networks from other providers, such as Dish Network or DirecTV. Comcast must also offer these networks at a reasonable cost. According to NYT, Comcast has stated that six out of every seven networks on its cable systems will have absolutely no affiliation with Comcast; therefore it is not going to start raising prices. Comcast ultimately does not want to lose its customers to its competitors.
People are also worried about how Internet access will be affected by the merger. The FCC has not given Comcast/NBC the kind of power to take control of the Internet, but who knows what will happen in the future. Comcast now owns Hulu, Hulu was already becoming a pay-service. “In short, the FCC has stipulated that this merger must not result in unfair market prices. Even better, the merger means that Comcast must now offer affordable, stand-alone Internet access so that we, the viewers, can access videos without having to purchase cable TV” said from a netizen. “The FCC said the Comcast-NBC Universal combination will be required to take steps to increase competition in the video marketplace. In addition, Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) has committed to expanding local news coverage, expand programs for Spanish-speaking viewers and offer Internet access to schools and libraries.” (Kristen Hamill, CNN)
Further, people are wondering what will happen to TV programs. Will Comcast subscribers get NBC shows? Fortunately, Comcast will be happy to know that the answer is “No!” People should not worry about missing The Office, 30 Rock, SNL, Biggest Loser, or any of those favorite shows. The FCC has made it quite clear that Comcast must provide reasonable channel lineup if people have Dish Network or DirecTV.
From these possibilities listed above, the public can be assured that even though Comcast has a huge influence on the industry, the FCC will prevent them from any unfair practices. The FCC implemented many rules and regulations to keep things in order, and the industry safe
No matter how TV trends will revolution lice in the future, the public, and their media, will hopefully always be able to rely on the FCC to keep them safe from industries monopolizing.
Kang, Cecila. “Post Tech – Update: FCC, Justice Approve Comcast and NBC Joint Venture.” Blog Directory (washingtonpost.com). 18 Jan. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2011/01/the_federal_communications_com_8.html?hpid=topnews>.
Paul, Michael. “How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You? | Wise Bread.” Wise Bread | Personal Finance and Frugal Living Forums. 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you>.
Whitelaw, Kevin. “6 Ways Comcast-NBC Deal Could Affect Consumers : NPR.” NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. 11 Dec. 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121337359>.
Hamill, Kristen. “Comcast-NBC Merger Approved by FCC – Jan. 18, 2011.” Business, Financial, Personal Finance News – CNNMoney.com. 18 Jan. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/18/technology/fcc_comcast_nbc/index.htm>.