SocraticGadfly: Comcastrophe?

January 18, 2011


No, I don't have cable TV or cable Internet, but Josh Silver of Free Press is right - the FCC's OK of the Comcast takeover of NBC (besides putting the lie to yet another Obama campaign promise) matters to all of us:
You might be saying, "I'm not a Comcast customer, so I'm not worried." But Comcast will jack up the prices that other cable and online distributors pay for NBC content, and you'll pay higher prices -- we promise.

You might be saying, "I can just get a new Internet provider if I don't like it." But there's almost no broadband competition. And as TV, radio, phone and other services increasingly become Internet-based, cable will be the only connection that's fast enough to deliver high-quality media and services to most Americans.

You might be saying, "Why should I care about a business deal between two giant companies?" But this merger is certain to be the first domino to fall in a series of mega-media mergers. The FCC's blessing of Comcast-NBC will embolden companies like AT&T or Verizon to try to gobble up content providers like Disney and CBS, creating a new era of media consolidation where even fewer companies control the content you watch and all the ways you watch it.

And, as far as takeovers? Wouldn't the ABC/ESPN juggernaut love to partner up with another communications company?

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