Comcast moves show value of NBC cable, not broadcast; stun regulators still looking at the deal

Comcast, through its executive appointments, has made it clear that it is more interested in NBC Universal's group of cable television properties than it is the broadcast network that would, to many traditional minds, be the linchpin of its whole acquisition. Those appointments, which pave the road for Comcast's management takeover, have also ruffled some feathers in D.C. where they're seen as "presumptuous and arrogant."

The MSO's management changes were "more surgical than scorched earth," according to a story in The New York Times that said they reflected Comcast's belief that the cable division is "clearly the crown jewel asset." It's also quite likely that the changes won't end with replacing NBC chieftain Jeff Zucker and entertainment boss Jeff Gaspin but that if "things aren't working or things can work better, they will continue making changes," said Barclays Capital analyst James Ratliffe in the Times story. "They made it clear: they are not going to be partial participants. They view this as their baby now, and they're going to run with it."

Of course there is the still the little niggling matter of Comcast actually acquiring NBC Universal. While the MSO has, in its typical fashion, moved ahead as if it's a done deal, those in Washington who have a say feel otherwise and are "displeased," according to another Times Story. "For a deal this large, and one that hasn't been approved, Comcast's behavior is presumptuous and arrogant," one federal official said.

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