We have heard that phrase a lot lately when it comes to the banks, but what about the media? What would happen if 1/4 of the U.S. media went bankrupt? With a proposed take over of NBC by Comcast that could easily become a reality:
By next week, cable giant Comcast is expected to announce a deal to buy NBC-Universal, the biggest proposed media merger in recent memory. Comcast, the largest cable company and the No. 1 Internet service provider in the nation, would take over the NBC empire: a television network, Universal Studios, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network, Telemundo, the Weather Channel, Hulu.com, 27 television stations and a host of other properties. UPDATE: The merger was rumored to be announced as early as Sunday, but related negotiations with Vivendi have delayed the announcement.
This train wreck of a deal will hurt all over. It will mean increased costs for cable television service; currently free online NBC content locked behind a pay wall; less opportunity for the distribution of independent media; even fewer choices and less programming diversity. On average, nearly one quarter of all channels offered to cable subscribers will be owned by the bloated Comcast.
The Obama administration needs to step up and block this merger. It’s time to get back to the way things used to be, where mega corporations weren’t allowed to gobble up everything. That practice, thanks to Reagan, has lead to our banking crisis and will help lead to a bigger media crisis. People should take a few minutes out of their time this week and let the White House know that we can’t risk more companies being merged into one.