I mean that in the most literal way possible. And considering I'm very much opposed to the word Literally and how it's misused, me saying it means something. NBC*Universal has had a majority of shares bought up by Comcast today from long time NBC owner, General Electric.
On Monday night, French media giant Vivendi and NBC parent company General Electric agreed to terms that clear the way for US cable giant Comcast to take a controlling stake in NBC Universal. An announcement from Comcast is expected within days. The proposed merger would create a media behemoth, and clear the way for an unprecedented era of media consolidation across cable, the Internet and broadcast television.
Be afraid. Comcast is both the largest cable company and the largest residential broadband provider in the United States: a $34-billion business with 24 million subscribers, reaching nearly one out of every four homes in the country. NBCU owns NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Universal Studios, 27 television stations, and a host of other properties.
You know what I say? Big fucking deal. It was only a matter of time. Comcast wasn't owned by any of the big media five (News, GE, CBS, Viacom, Disney, Time Warner) so far. To be honest I was expecting Rupert to own them eventually.
Time Warner already has a bunch of content providers (including CNN), I don't see how this would start a tidal wave. Tidal wave already happened, it's just now beginning to hit us. Content providers and content distributors have always merged all the time. This is just happening in the age of the internet and so people are going all up in arms about potentially losing Hulu. Does it suck? I suppose. Just depends on how you look at it. I mean, look at it this way. No one watches NBC except for football, the office and Conan.
For the most part, they bought into a bad product. NBC is total shit right now. It's very much a fix'er up'er. But really, there's no mass control on your news. Television ceased to be relevant for news half a decade ago. CNN, Nightly News and the local news are all a joke.
Yes, Comcast raised the cable rates for years while raking in record profits nearly every quarter. They're a business. I guess that'll happen. There is always another option.. Hell, I say that even though my only option for cable/internet is Time Warner. You want to talk about shitty service.. try Time Warner.
It's even more annoying that only a couple of blocks north is where AT&T cable is offered. And really, if you're not a consumer that uses comcast so far, it wont have much of an impact on you anyway. Then again. Landlines aren't very useful anymore. I haven't had one for at least 4-5 years now. It really sucked to be an early adapter for that since places like Time Warner still expected a land line for bills. They had to catch up to me not having one in my apartment.
How much white guilt do you have towards NBC currently? I mean, it was owned by General Electric, a corporation which has large arms manufacturing subsidiaries. If GE can put p with Hulu and the other problems the network has, Comcast probably will too. At least they won't be owned by a major weapons manufacturer anymore.
I would not be worried for Hulu. NBC Universal has a share in Hulu. That's it. Along side News Corp, Disney and Providence Equity Partners, a Rhode Island-based group of investors who also owns a bit of MGM alongside with Comcast, Sony and others. Comcast's COO said that he doesn't plan on making Hulu a pay service, but later added that he has no call on it since NBC Universal is only one of a group of owners of Hulu. There have been some wonders from various parts if Hulu would become a pay service or not, and if it did become so, I would personally have no problem with it if they were able to make it worth the money (e.g., finding more licensees to add content, keeping new content ad-supported and perhaps adding older episodes that could be paid for, etc.).
So really, all this means is that someone new owns a majority of NBC. Nothing new under the sun.