Thoughts on the Comcast NBC Announcement

This is a brilliant move on behalf of Comcast in my opinion. Namely, as a hedge against unknown FCC regulation and as a vertical integration strategy to be well-positioned in the Internet-video era. Brian Roberts is playing his cards right. The net net, I couldn't disagree more with this WSJ commentary.

Mainly, this acquisition is clearly a move to protect & prevent any unwanted deterioration in pay-television from rogue online video. With Comcast owning a major network and controlling it's content, online distribution of that content will certainly be better managed. And, more importantly, the monetization of that content should prove much easier for an access provider (since interests will not only be aligned, but they'll be one).

Also, this kind of vertical integration is an interesting change in the relation between content and distribution. There have been so many divestitures in the sector as content assets were separated from distribution over the past years as entertainment companies saw less value in controlling their own distribution (see Time Warner, etc). Comcast could be on the leading (contrarian) edge of communication companies reassessing their strategy vis-a-vis content. Considering this market environment for ad supported businesses and the decline of syndication fees, now is the right time to be buying.

There is no doubt, however, that the regulators are going to be all over this. It will be interesting to see how this is dealt with in Washington DC.
blog comments powered by Disqus