The Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal? Nearly everybody has an opinion and, as the deadline for public comments did anything but pass quietly into the night yesterday, more than a fair share of them seemed to be in opposition.
Comcast, the largest U.S. cable provider, is hoping those vociferous opinions won't convince the FCC to block its $30 billion deal to purchase NBCU from GE, giving it a content programming and delivery network with a scope unlike any other in the world. And much of it would be behind a pay wall.
Among those convinced the deal would be a bad one (for consumers/the industry/themselves, pick one or more), were: the Communications Workers of America, who contend a merger means a loss of jobs; Bloomberg, DirecTV, programmers who are worried they'd lose clout in the bargaining process (and face one of the toughest nuts and bolts teams in the industry); consumer groups who contend the deal makes Comcast too powerful; and a group representing some 200 affiliate stations who are concerned Comcast would snatch up sports programming and put it behind a pay wall.
Comcast, meanwhile, has assured affiliates it would continue to broadcast sports, like the NFL and the Olympics, over the air, and allow NBC shows to be broadcast through the stations as well.
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