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11 May 2011 23:28


Biz: Blatant evidence the FCC is in bed with big corporate entities

  • January After a long year of hand-wringing, including much complaining by consumer groups, the FCC approved the merger of NBC Universal and Comcast by 4-1. There was much teeth-grinding.
  • May One of the four commissioners who voted for the merger, Meredith Attwell Baker, has a new job. Wanna guess where? It rhymes with “bombast.” Or, perhaps, “total conflict of interest.”  source

26 Apr 2011 02:01


Biz: Netflix has more subscribers than Comcast, catching up with HBO

  • 23.6M number of subscribers Netflix has — up by over 3 million subscribers
  • 28.6M number of subscribers HBO has; Netflix passed Showtime’s 20 million
  • 22.8M number of subscribers Comcast has; cable use is declining source

21 Jan 2011 15:24


Biz: Jeff Zucker’s last gasp with NBC: “I leave you in good hands”

  • For me, that chapter’s ending, but for all of you it’s an exciting new beginning. With Comcast, I leave you in good hands and have no doubt that you will continue to do great things. I look forward to following your progress.
  • Departing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker • In a memo to his employees on the company’s financial performance, the last such report before the soon-to-complete Comcast deal. Zucker, the man probably most responsible for the Jay Leno/Conan mess, is leaving a company he’s worked at for a solid 25 years. Sorry, we’re finding it hard to type. We have something in our eyes. source

18 Jan 2011 22:30


Biz: Comcast + Hulu – Power to control its investment = Is that enough?

  • problemComcast wants to buy NBC Universal, but has significant reason to competitively damage online streaming site Hulu, which NBC owns a 30 percent stake in. TV fans are worried.
  • solutionThe Department of Justice is forcing Comcast out of Hulu boardroom meetings, meaning they have to allow NBC content on Hulu, but otherwise have no influence on the company. source
  • » Will this be enough? It’s too early to tell, but the Justice Department’s restrictions on Hulu essentially put Comcast in a position of wanting Hulu to succeed, because they won’t be able to sabotage it directly, but their money is still backing it. Comcast’s Executive Vice President David Cohen put it like so: “We continue to have an interest in the growth and advancement of Hulu …and we obviously prefer to maintain our ownership position and our partnership with our content.” Let’s see if this is what actually happens. (thanks popculturebrain)

24 Dec 2010 11:05


Biz: Will that Comcast/NBC Universal deal finally go through?

  • Depends on which bureaucrat you ask. In what’s looking to be a banner week for the FCC (note dripping sarcasm), Julius Genachowski said that he’s angling to approve the mega-merger, which would put Comcast in a position to screw over millions of consumers at once. That said, the merged company will agree to be willing to share their content with other companies (important) as well as with Web video firms like Netflix and Hulu (EXTREMELY important). The Justice Department, however, has yet to offer an official opinion on the merger but is rumored to not be super-happy about how the deal might affect competition. So, even if the FCC passes it, the DOJ may decline it for antitrust reasons. source

03 Dec 2010 17:12


Tech: Level 3’s fight with Comcast over Netflix heats up, big time

  • If the dispute were simply ‘commercial,’ the dispute would have already been settled or would never have arisen in the first place. Comcast’s status as the nation’s largest provider of consumer broadband service enables Comcast to force Level 3 to pay the ‘toll’ Comcast has demanded.
  • A statement from Level 3 Communications • Complaining about Comcast’s plan to charge a toll for its handling of Netflix’s traffic – which effectively doubles the amount of bandwidth they’ll be sending to Comcast’s customers. As this could have the effect of hurting end-users by incurring more charges on them, Level 3 is right to push back here. This is a net neutrality fight that you should watch, because Comcast appears to be using their leverage as an internet provider to protect its cable business. This is bad. source

30 Nov 2010 10:48


Biz, Tech: Comcast offers up some net neutrality ammo for Netflix fans

  • This action by Comcast threatens the open Internet and is a clear abuse of the dominant control that Comcast exerts in broadband access. With this action, Comcast is preventing competing content from ever being delivered to Comcast’s subscribers at all, unless Comcast’s unilaterally determined toll is paid.
  • Level 3 Communications Chief Legal Officer Thomas Stortz • Expressing anger with Comcast’s added bandwidth fees on the internet middleman, which Netflix uses for its uber-popular streaming services. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Did you hear that? Yeah, we think we did. That’s the sound of the FCC nailing Comcast for anticompetitive activity and killing their planned buyout of NBC because they aren’t playing fair. What? You didn’t hear it? We must have imagined it. We can dream, can’t we? source

24 Sep 2010 11:37


Culture: Months after Conan screw-up, NBC head Jeff Zucker is out

  • You win, Conan fans. And TV fans in general. It took a few months to hit, but Jeff Zucker – a.k.a. the guy who set up the disastrous Jay Leno lineup switch last season – is headed out the door in the wake of the Comcast merger, and not by his own choosing. “in the last nine months it became increasingly clear that they did want to put their own team in place — and I didn’t want to end up being a guest in my own house,” he said. While NBC’s cable networks did great, the mothership struggled, and as a result, Zucker’s out. Good riddance. You deserve it for what you did to Conan O’Brien. source

30 Jul 2010 02:38


Biz, Tech: Netflix slowly but surely becoming a movie studio cash cow

  • 20
    the number of people who use Netflix, which has only been around about 12 years
  • 24
    the number of people who use Comcast, which has been around over 40 years
  • $9M the amount Netflix paid studios for streaming films in the second quarter of last year
  • $66M the amount Netflix spent on acquiring movies for its streaming service this past quarter
  • $116M the amount the company paid to movie studios for in the first six months of 2010 source
  • » A win-win relationship? While the relationship clearly favors the film studios at this point, the success of Netflix’s streaming model has proven fruitful, especially since it hasn’t come at a higher cost to the consumer. While Netflix has pushed more money into streaming distribution, they’ve had to put less into their DVD budgets, meaning that money is shifting from one platform to another. Oh, and it helps that they’ve nailed streaming movies better than anyone else. (Hat tip to Jeff Greco for finding this.)

05 May 2010 20:13


Tech, U.S.: The FCC twists, turns its way through the net neutrality wormhole

  • before The FCC planned to use
    its weight to move
    carriers to follow net
    neutrality rules it created.
  • then A federal court said this
    wasn’t legal and that
    Congress should make
    a net neutrality law.
  • now The FCC now plans to …
    regulate the Internet like the phone system. How
    wacky! source