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Comcast In Deal Talks With NBC Universal

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-can-only-end-badly dept.

Television 160

schwit1 sent us an LA Times article about another step in the seemingly unending media consolidation. This time it's Cable giant Comcast Corp. looking at NBC. NBC owns a slew of channels, including Bravo, USA and Syfy (who might have the single lamest rebranding since Spike). The article says that it would be far cheaper than the Disney deal Comcast tried to pull off 5 years ago.

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160 comments

Lamest rebranding (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604411)

The lamest rebranding:
www.theminingcompany.com to www.about.com

also of note:
www.askjeeves.com to www.ask.com

Re:Lamest rebranding (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604553)

Actually, those are pretty good rebranding efforts. They replace a cumbersome word that might not be easy to remember or that doesn't have a good connection with the content of the site with a single short commonly-used word that is on target and easy to remember. (Of course, nobody ever visits either one of these sites unless they come up in a Google search....)

On the other hand, Sci-Fi's decision to call themselves "Syfy" is simply a lame attempt to justify having professional wrestling in their lineup.

Re:Lamest rebranding (5, Funny)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604803)

"Syfy" is simply a lame attempt to justify having professional wrestling in their lineup.

Isn't professional wrestling fantasy anyways?

Re:Lamest rebranding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29606385)

Doesn't mean it belongs on the fuckin scifi channel.

Re:Lamest rebranding (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606901)

fantasy

Oh darling yes. That Undertaker fellow is so dreamy.

Er... wrong kind of fantasy perhaps?

comcast likely get fcc on them and lose CSN Philly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29607087)

"Syfy" is simply a lame attempt to justify having professional wrestling in their lineup.

Isn't professional wrestling fantasy anyways?

"Syfy" is simply a lame attempt to justify having professional wrestling in their lineup.

Isn't professional wrestling fantasy anyways?

comcast likely get fcc on them and lose CSN Philly from being cable only.

Re:Lamest rebranding (2, Interesting)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605049)

World's lamest rebranding in my book: The Australian icon Vegemite being renamed iSnack 2.0. Sounds like a joke, but... [abc.net.au]

Re:Lamest rebranding (4, Informative)

Scyber (539694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605217)

On the other hand, Sci-Fi's decision to call themselves "Syfy" is simply a lame attempt to justify having professional wrestling in their lineup.

It was my understanding that the primary issue is that they couldn't trademark Sci-Fi b/c it was a generic term.

Re:Lamest rebranding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29605681)

On the other hand, Sci-Fi's decision to call themselves "Syfy" is simply a lame attempt to justify having professional wrestling in their lineup.

It was my understanding that the primary issue is that they couldn't trademark Sci-Fi b/c it was a generic term.

However, "Sci-Fi Channel" would be a vaild trademark. If what you state really is true it's still a stupid attempt at rebranding.

Re:Lamest rebranding (1)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605955)

No, I'll bet it was because they don't play any actual Sci-Fi, so they couldn't call it that anymore.

Re:Lamest rebranding (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604615)

www.slashdot.com to www.omgponies.com is much more similar to sci-fi to syfy, only in one case it was only a joke, in the other, we wish it was a joke.

A little help, please! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604749)

I need to tap into the wisdom of crowds for a seemingly intractable problem I've just encountered. I seem to have snagged my scrotum in the office paper shredder. Any idea how to get out of this and minimize damage? Hurry, I hear footsteps!

Sent from my iPhone.

Consolidation ... (2, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604425)

... interesting how the semantics (or maybe it is pragmatics) of a word make any further comment obsolete.

CC.

Further comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604689)

I've got a further comment...

How about Comcast spend those billions of dollars in cash they they have collected from consumers to.. oh say... UPGRADE THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE!

Build out their system to:
  - broadcast more HD cannels
  - decrease compression of channels so they are blue ray quality
  - SPEED UP MY NET CONNECTION
  - add technology so i can select what channels i pay for (i only want news, sports, and science channel, i dont want to pay for Bravo, or QVC, etc)
  - SPEED UP MY NET CONNECTION
  - etc, im sure you all have good ideas too

Seriously, lets stop living in 2000. Why can't we have internet service (at least in dense metro areas) like Japan or South Korea at 100Mbps??

Re:Further comment... (2, Insightful)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605091)

I would simply happy with:
- KEEPING my NET CONNECTION UP
- KEEPING my NET CONNECTION AT AND ACCEPTABLE SPEED.

Re:Further comment... (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605279)

"Why can't we have internet service (at least in dense metro areas) like Japan or South Korea at 100Mbps??" Because we're, in general, more spread out.

Big cities should have 100Mbps, though. There's really no excuse.

When they control...... (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604431)

.....the content, the distribution channel, and the local government-granted monopoly over neighborhoods, then they control the minds of the people.

Re:When they control...... (3, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604523)

Well maybe some of the people. Not everyone is locked into Comcast. In fact, nobody is truly locked into Comcast. But perhaps we should start looking for an exposed ventilation shaft that leads to the core of their mothership just in case.

Re:When they control...... (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604607)

Actually, cable-wise you pretty much *are* locked into them if they have the cable franchise in your city and you can't use satellite (your house faces the wrong way, live in an apartment, etc.). And even on the broadband internet side, most people only have 2 or 3 options at the most. In my city, if you don't go Comcast for broadband, the only other option is AT&T DSL (which is limited to a measly 3 Mbps in this city).

Re:When they control...... (2, Insightful)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604789)

You seem to have missed a subtle but quite important work in GP's post. " ...nobody is TRULY locked into Comcast . ." So yeah, you can argue about how they have a monopoly in certain areas and some people can't get a satellite connection, but at the end of the day, no one has to sit there watching cable television. If Comcast is the big evil monopoly in your area, and you are anti-Comcast, then just don't watch cable*. So, no. . . nobody is truly locked in.

*Most OTA stations let you stream the newest episodes from their site the day after it airs on TV. Those shows, and most of the ones not available for streaming, including cable shows, can usually be found on torrent within 12 hours of airtime anyway.

Go back to dial-up? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605051)

but at the end of the day, no one has to sit there watching cable television. If Comcast is the big evil monopoly in your area, and you are anti-Comcast, then just don't watch cable*.

Should people in Comcast areas who can't get DSL (for whatever reason) go back to dial-up?

Re:Go back to dial-up? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605811)

"Yes they can go back to dialup." by donaggie03

Okay that isn't fair but I suspect if he were here, and completely honest, that's exactly what he would say. He argues that Comcast is not a monopoly and people have other choices, but he forgets the alternative (50k dialup) is not really a valid choice. You can do a lot over dialup including bittorrent, but you can't watch hulu.com or nbc.com or other tv sites. ----- Also even in areas that have both cable and DSL, that's still just a duopoly... no better than our current political system.

Re:When they control...... (2, Insightful)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605237)

Yes and I actually did this. I am so ANTI-COMCAST that I went 2 years with crappy ATT DSL, and NO cable TV.

And in a month I will be living on a street with 2 competing Cable providers!!!!! So I can hopefully haggle one down to about 50% normal rates and pay an acceptable amount.
And I will spout my discount as PROOF of monopolistic, and price fixing tactics on NO COMPETITION cable providers.

Re:When they control...... (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605861)

>>>I will be living on a street with 2 competing Cable providers!!!!

Every urban street in the U.S. should have this. And not just 2 providers, but maybe 4 or 5. It is only through competition that you break the back of a monopoly, plus giving choice to the consumer empowers them to run their own lives.

Re:When they control...... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606391)

In many areas of this country, local governments give out franchises to cable and phone companies, which can grant these companies legal monopolies. In such a case, it is legally impossible for anyone at all to enter the market in that area aside from regulatory duct tape that forces the providers to sell/give access to their cables to other companies. Those solutions do not strike at the core issue: legal monopolies.

In my own area, Comcast enjoys a legal monopoly on high-speed internet access. We've been hoping for some time that Verizon might be allowed to offer FiOS, but they regulators feel that that will interfere with a telephone monopoly. Grr......

Re:When they control...... (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604961)

Yeah, I pay for basic cable service even though it is not plugged into my TV. That's because I want fast internet access and Comcast has bundled them such that signing up for a cable TV service I don't use, saves me money. That is pretty much a conclusive indicator of a broken market that needs to be addressed by antitrust regulators.

Re:When they control...... (0)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605003)

So stop doing it, I did. I download a lot of stuff and my connection is more reliable at actually obtaining the content on a regular basis at a consistent speed using 5 Mbps AT&T DSL than Comcast's "Comcastic" 10 Mbps cable modem.

I don't watch that much tv, but what I do is easily accessed through hulu on boxee hooked to my 50" DLP. I have my dvd collection at the press of a button, and use my xbox 360 to stream hd quality (ish) movies from netflix.

I actually get more entertainment from this setup that I had to do some THINKING to obtain than the braindead channels that comcast offers. I also record OTA HD and can burn it to dvd, transcode it, or do whatever the hell I want with it since its MY airwaves the broadcast networks use to deliver it to me.

Stop complaining and start voting with your feet and your wallet, trust me, you'll feel bettter about yourself. I don't LOVE AT&T, but they're certainly the lesser of my two evil choices.

Re:When they control...... (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605169)

Do you know where I can get F1 races online to download? That is one thing keeping me on pay TV.

Re:When they control...... (2, Informative)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606381)

AT&T comes with espn360 streaming, which has formula 1, 3, and nascar racing events live and replayed on demand whenever you want. I'm a huge college football fan who used to pay for the extra package during the season, and I just got sick enough of it that I explored my options.

There's other isp's that pay for espn360:

http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/affList [go.com]

Re:When they control...... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605341)

So stop doing it, I did. I download a lot of stuff and my connection is more reliable at actually obtaining the content on a regular basis at a consistent speed using 5 Mbps AT&T DSL than Comcast's "Comcastic" 10 Mbps cable modem.

There are multiple problems with that. First, so far AT&T has been more expensive every time I checked because they bundle their service with a home phone line, which I also don't want. Second, AT&T's connection is slower by all comparisons I've seen. Third, doing business with AT&T (my cell phone provider) is a bureaucratic hell. Even finding out if they will provide DSL to my location is an exercise in frustration. If I go to their Web page right now (just did) I fill out four different forms as they try to figure out where my address is (weird how Yahoo and Google maps have no problem huh?). In the end I get the message "Due to technical problems, we are unable to process your order online at this time. Please contact us at 1-877-722-2256 Monday through Friday, 7 am to 9 pm and on Saturday, 7 am to 5 pm." I'm not falling for that crap again. I called them once and got to talk to a whole variety of clueless people who couldn't give me a straight answer about anything. They are the epitome of a giant broken bureaucracy I don't want to have to deal with.

Stop complaining and start voting with your feet and your wallet, trust me, you'll feel bettter about yourself. I don't LOVE AT&T, but they're certainly the lesser of my two evil choices.

I disagree. So far Comcast is the lesser of two evils for me, but the point is after giving both companies billions in government aid to build their networks I shouldn't have to be picking the lesser of two evils both of whom force me to buy a crappy service I don't want to get what is basically a utility I need. It's idiotic and the result of our broken system that lets corporations lobby the government. We need the government to work for the people again and stop giving these idiots hand outs and start building a public internet infrastructure that Comcact and AT&T can provide TV or phone or both over... and so can any other company without worrying about government enforced monopolies on public right-of ways or trying to overcome start up costs the government paid for their competitors.

Re:When they control...... (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606197)

BS, I pay $54 for dry loop dsl from AT&T. Once they are set up, they simply bill me. Comcast has 800 price structures for 6 month specials that I have to call and renegotiate EVERY six months. I have a flat price that is lower than Comcast's regular rate, no home phone service, and NO BS TO DEAL WITH ANYMORE.

If you put in the effort ONCE, you never have to call and threaten to cancel your service to get the "better" deal.

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606401)

>>>they bundle their service with a home phone line, which I also don't want.

You should. When a storm knocks-out the electricity, the phone line is the only thing that still works. I will *always* have a phone line just for such emergencies, and the cost is trivial ($5).

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606855)

>>>start building a public internet infrastructure

Which we will be taxed for at 5 times the current rate charged by the private companies. No. Thanks. At least with Comcast I can say, "Thanks for the call but I don't want your tv shit," and not pay them a dime. I can't do that with the government. (Heck they want to fine me $1500 because I don't want their health insurance.)

Also my DSL as actually reasonable - $15 a month. I have no complaints.

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605919)

>>>So stop doing paying for cable, I did. I download a lot of stuff...

Which is precisely why Comcast and other cable companies have contracted with TNT, USA, FX, et cetera to move their content behind a subscriber wall. That means you'll no longer be able to watch these shows for free, unless you can provide a valid Comcast, Cox, or Time-warner subscriber number.

Re:When they control...... (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606301)

Hasn't happened yet. When it does, so long, I don't want to business with that type of company anyhow. There's this thing called ethics, and it doesn't go out the window when its inconvenient or not fun enough.

Re:When they control...... (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606183)

Not that I don't agree with you, I don't have cable, but most people are still locked in due to things like sports, others live in apartments and can't get OTA TV. Out of curiosity how do you record the OTA channels? I've been looking into doing so but most DVRs are explicitly marked as supporting QAM and don't indicate whether they have expandable HDDs or can burn to disc.

Re:When they control...... (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606337)

mythbuntu, a hauppage wintv card, and a newer nvidia card for accelerated playback (newer == 8500 and up iirc). I pay for schedules direct (speaking of which I'd better pay my $20 today since my year's up)

Re:When they control...... (1)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605527)

Really? For me, getting just the single service Internet was at laest $20 cheaper, even with all the ridiculous lock-in specials Comcast offers. Which saved me enough for a Netflix account, which with all the TV on Hulu is all I really need for entertainment.

Re:When they control...... (1)

eht (8912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605037)

How can your house face the wrong way? Instead of putting the dish on the back on the house, put it on the front, or put it on the ground.

Many people in my apartment complex have dishes, and your landlord can not forbid you from installing one due to FCC regs.

Re:When they control...... (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605087)

How can your house face the wrong way?

Tall radio-opaque building to your south*, or your apartment is on the north* side of the building.

*Invert this in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, or Brazil.

Re:When they control...... (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605183)

Yeah but you can put up a dish no matter what your apartment manager says. You can put up the biggest most unsightly satelite dish (on TV antenna) despite the most aggressive HOA. You are protected by the FEDS!

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/consumerdish.html [fcc.gov]

Re:When they control...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29606449)

You might want to read the rules a little closer. If you have a deck or some other area that is under your exclusive control, then you can put up the dish irrespective of the HOA. If, however, your apartment has no deck or other exclusive use space the FCC rules don't apply. In the case of a standard square box apartment tower your SOL unless you have a deck.

Re:When they control...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29606525)

Doesn't matter if your apartment is on the wrong side of the building, like mine.

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606905)

False. There's a size limit on how big the dish or antenna can be, and there's also a limit of 12(?) feet above the roofline. I have to admit I like the idea of challenging the housing association tyranny. Bunch of control freaks.

Re:When they control...... (3, Insightful)

asv108 (141455) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605187)

Comcast will probably use the growth of FIOS as the excuse for why the merger should be passed.

Re:When they control...... (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606469)

Even if you can use satellite you can still be locked to Comcast. I have DirecTV and noticed the VS channel was off the other day with the message that Comcast owns it and was trying to charge some higher rate for DTV to carry it.

Re:When they control...... (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604557)

We're already down to just a few companies that control virtually every media producer and distribution pipeline in the country. It's little surprise these guys oppose net neutrality. Without some sort of government imposed net neutrality, they can essentially shut out even the indie media producers from online distribution. Then they would control pretty much everything we see and hear (or, more importantly, DON'T see and hear).

Re:When they control...... (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604829)

>>>(or, more importantly, DON'T see and hear).

A friend was just telling me about a little organization called ACORN that was using taxpayer dollars to support prostitutes (or something). It's strange that I never saw that on the Comcast News Network or ComcastNBC. He said he saw it on something called Air America - never even heard of them. By the way, what's "acorn"? (shrug)

Back to topic -

Just as government has introduced the idea of choice for electric providers and phone company providers, they need to do the same with Comcast cable lines. Customers can get a list of individual channels (or packages), and they decide what they desire to see.

Re:When they control...... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29605059)

~0.5% of people who download would have bought the product on CD. So as rough estimate: 200 song downloads = 1 lost sale

99.5% of people who download will make up random numbers to justify their behavior.

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606981)

RIAA wrote:

99.5% of people who download will make up random numbers to justify their behavior.

I researched (read: googled) and it took awhile, but eventually found this statistic. Out of every 2500 downloads, there's the loss of one CD sale. Figure 10-11 songs per CD, so that's one lost song sale per ~200 downloads.

If you can provide a better statistic, please share it. I'm willing to listen to rational argument if they are backed by facts.

Re:When they control...... (1)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605545)

"(or something)." Nice trolling.

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29607039)

You want more precision? Fine. YES acorn was receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer money, and they were using for good things to assist inner-city communities BUT they were also using it to advise prostitutes in D.C., Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York how to (a) lie on tax forms to commit fraud (b) import illegal persons (c) set-up a prostitute house as a "dancing hall" and (d) prostitute 13-14 year old girls. Now maybe you think those actions are acceptable or even moral, but what matters is the Law which clearly specifies organizations who commit those acts are not allowed to receive government funding.

I'm not trolling. I'm discussing current events.

Re:When they control...... (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605905)

Interesting... because I saw that ACORN thing all over Fox News and CNN. Hmm... Is he watching TV in America?

As for broadband infrastructure, I think it's high time the gubbermint mandates fiber to the door, and buys it from the telcos to sell on the open market. Pay someone to put lines in, pay someone a contract to manage/repair it (on 5-10y) basis, and let companies buy it from the government. Use the postal service model, perhaps?

I really don't care how it's done, but keep content separate from delivery. Period.

Re:When they control...... (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606477)

What you forget is that every time these companies consolidate it is approved by all the regulating bodies of the government, whether it be the FCC or FTC.

These companies have yet to do what you've said they will do on a large scale although there is supposedly nothing stopping them. What is stopping them is their customers. People won't stand for it. If you allow the government to regulate the internet in this way it opens the door to these companies lobbying the government to change the rules in their favor.

The net neutrality regulation proposals as they stand now are good, but it opens the door for more regulations in the future. Don't say it won't happen because it has in every other industry.

The consumers are the ones who should be demanding net neutrality. If you allow the government to do it you are immasculating the consumer and ensuring a future of shitty internet.

More on media monopoly (4, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604559)

Critiques of media consolidation involve a number of issues and notions:
That consolidation and globalization of media over the past decade have been massive.
That media consolidation is served by government deregulation and subsidization of
the airwaves.
That media consolidation and globalization are viewed as predecessors of global
capitalism.
That the bottom line of corporate media is profit, not content.
That media industries have become media oligopolies, that is, media conglomerates
are not agents of a democratic citizenry, but of a business and state elite.
That critiques of globalization and corporate power are marginalized.
That media audiences are treated as consumers rather than citizens.
That the traditional notion of media having a public interest obligation has
disappeared.
That democratically-based media outlets have expanded and while marginalized
provide an alternative to corporate media messages.

http://libr.org/amtf//bibliographies/bib.1.pdf [libr.org]

Say good bye to Hulu (2, Interesting)

Glenstorm (117502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604959)

Fabulous, just when we have an alternative to the cable delivery system become viable. . . I am curious how much this plays into Comcast's desire for NBC. They see people making an end run around their monopoly and are implementing this plan to plug the gap.

Re:When they control...... (1)

Nickodeimus (1263214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604603)

Not if the people don't watch TV. I watch one show a week and its more because i want to spend time with my girlfriend than watch the show. HMMM....... time to cancel all but basic cable, now that i think about it.

Re:When they control...... (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604669)

Remember last time an ISP (yes, I know Comcast does more than that) bought a media company? The world was introduced to AOL Time Warner.

Probably don't have too much to worry about.

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604891)

AOL-TW was a victim of bad timing, merging just prior to an economic meltdown (dot-com crash). Comcast-NBC will be merging while the economy is on the rise.

Re:When they control...... (2, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605029)

Add to that one other word that most people seem to be leaving out of the thoughts: Hulu

Hulu was started and is still back in large part by NBC.

It is a distribution mechanism that has the potential to completely obsolete Cable Companies (except as ISPs), and buying NBC might give Comcast a stake in the company, or at least a say in the direction of the company ("Maybe we should run more adverts", "how about a three week delay and only show the last two episodes", "we really shouldn't run 'cable exclusive' content").

I'm just as happy having Hulu in the hands of content Producers and Over-The-Air broadcasters who are less used to draconian control of the distribution channel (VCR have been around for a while, and Pay-Per-View/On-Demand hasn't been an issue for Broadcast TV).

Re:When they control...... (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605097)

Comcast-NBC will be merging while the economy is on the rise

Do you really believe that the economy is on the rise? That pumping a couple of trillion dollars of debt into it has magically fixed all of the problems? We'll see a short-term improvement, perhaps, but in the long term we're just building it up to be worse than it ever would have without government "stimulus", tarp, and other such foolishness. /uninformed-but-common-sense-opinion

Re:When they control...... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29607111)

>>>Do you really believe that the economy is on the rise?

There are two answers I can provide:

The real answer - no we're about to experience massive devaluation of the dollar (i.e. a loss of your savings). Or the funny answer: "Yes absolutely. This I know because Obama loves me so... red, yellow, black, or white, all are equal in his sight". LINK - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVrj0fBNwzk [youtube.com]

Re:When they control...... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606081)

When they control the content and the distribution, they lose the "the company upstream is forcing us to encrypt the channels" excuse.

Comcast currently doesn't want me as a customer, so they encrypt their channels to make sure I can't watch them and pay them money. I think it really pissed them off when I gave them money over and over again, month after month, year after year, back in the analog days when you plugged the cable into a receiver and everything "Just Worked."

But if they own the channel, now what is their excuse for going out of their way to reduce their profits? How are they going to continue to justify their efforts to make bittorrent piracy (where nobody, neither content producers nor distributors, makes any money) be the channels' only presence in the market?

I look forward to hearing their new excuses for trying to come up with ways to go out of business. Everyone knows the entertainment business' number one priority is suicide, but not everyone appreciates how their business itself, has become the entertainment. Maybe this move, buying the channels, is what is going to make the irony unsubtle enough for everyone to perceive. The snobs will complain that they're dumbing it down for mass-consumption (a suicide everyone can enjoy) but I've got no problem with it.

False report (according to Comcast) (2, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604441)

While the news came out, Comcast has since denied [cnn.com] it is in a deal to purchase NBC Universal.

Granted, this is Comcast who is most certainly looking for ways to expand its monopoly and further control what people watch, but for now, there is no deal for them to purchase NBC Universal.

Re:False report (according to Comcast) (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604471)

The rumor that Comcast came out against is not that they are dealing but that a deal and are just finishing the last parts of it.
The CNN report is just badly worded.

Re:False report (according to Comcast) (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604563)

Comcast only said "While we do not normally comment on [mergers and acquisitions] rumors, the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate." The inaccuracy could've been in some details of the report, or whether such a deal would actually happen, but they didn't specify which (in that quote).

PR guys love to reveal without revealing and lie without lying. A failure to do either leaves the company vulnerable.

Re:False report (according to Comcast) (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605981)

Considering NBC Universal is a subsidiary of General Electric, one of the largest companies on the planet; my guess would be that the inaccuracy in the details of the report are that NBC is looking to buy Comcast rather than vise-versa.

Re:False report (according to Comcast) (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604747)

Of course they denied it. If it got out that they were looking to buy NBC Universal, the stock price would rise thereby increasing the purchase price as speculators bought up stock in the hopes of a big payday when the buyout came around. That would be something they'd want to avoid.

Re:False report (according to Comcast) (1)

Basicx (1647879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604777)

"Comcast denied a report from industry website The Wrap that it had a deal to buy NBC Universal, but it declined to elaborate on any other talks it may be having with NBC Universal"

It was stated in the linked article, but I do agree that this probably does not mean the end of Comcast's attempts at furthering their market dominance.

Personally, I think they should be working on making their broadband internet more affordable and stable, than acquiring additional assets, but that may just be me.

Re:False report (according to Comcast) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29606931)

Don't ever, ever, ever believe a word those idiots have to say about anything. These are the same assholes that swore up and down to the public that they weren't doing any kind of content filtering or blocking, only to be proven wrong later on. Their eventual response? "We weren't blocking in anything, we were practicing in reasonable network management."

Seriously, don't believe anything Comcrap has to say about anything, ever. Lying assholes.

Cue Jack Dougnagy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604505)

You mean they've got _4 Million_ dollars laying around?

Great - I can see it now... (5, Insightful)

the saltydog (450856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604653)

When the deal is complete, Comcast will raise the rates to carry their newly acquired channels to DirecTV, to ridiculously insane levels, just like they did with the Versus channel... all in an effort to try putting DirecTV out of business. After the royal shafting they tried sticking those of us with their Internet service, but not their cable TV service* (which they referred to as "bundling", but which was, in reality, a "satellite tax"), I will never spend another cent with those greedy bastards. Fuck Comcast.**

*I had AT&T Broadband, and when Comcast bought them out, they decided to modify their price structure to bring it in line with the rest of the country (their words). In doing so, my bill went from $32.95/mo., to $37.95, to $42.95, and then to $57.95/mo., in the span of less than 10 months. (No promotional rates were involved, either.) The last increase of FIFTEEN dollars a month was because I didn't have cable TV. Funny that I didn't have it at the beginning, and only paid $32.95 a month to AT&T, for the exact same level of speed and service. As far as I'm concerned, Comcast is even more evil and untrustworthy as Microsoft, which is really saying something. Stay classy, Comcast!

**Come on already, Qwest - where's the FTTH that your commercials keep trying to pitch to me, but I STILL can't get, less than 5 miles from Downtown St. Paul?!?

Re:Great - I can see it now... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604937)

>>>I had AT&T Broadband, and when Comcast bought them out,

How is it legal for a single company to own BOTH the internet companies in your neighborhood (cable and dsl)? Sounds like a reason to file an antitrust lawsuit.

Re:Great - I can see it now... (1)

the saltydog (450856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606175)

Actually, that's incorrect - AT&T Broadband was via cable, and Comcast bought them out. Qwest (formerly US West) offers DSL in the area (Twin Cities, MN). That's what I have now... I ended up bitching about the "sat tax" to the consumer affairs reporter for KSTP-TV back then, and they interviewed me at my old workplace; the boss was cool with it, as long as I wore my work shirt with the logo prominently displayed... ;-) However, all it got me was another 6 months at the $42.95/mo. rate - after which I switched to DSL, never to look back.

Re:Great - I can see it now... (2, Funny)

spitzak (4019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606295)

How is it legal for a single company to own BOTH the internet companies in your neighborhood (cable and dsl)? Sounds like a reason to file an antitrust lawsuit.

OMG! Socialism! How dare you!

Re:Great - I can see it now... (3, Interesting)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605247)

As far as I'm concerned, Comcast is even more evil and untrustworthy as Microsoft, which is really saying something. Stay classy, Comcast!

It figures your experience was horrible. In the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Comcast has received the lowest customer satisfaction rating of any organization in the US, including the IRS.

Re:Great - I can see it now... (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605295)

I know the feeling. To this day I won't go back to Concast. They are unethical at best IMO.

At times I've teased my kids asking if they wanted faster internet and for that we'd need to go back to Concast. They all scream heck no!

Concast screwed them over as well as me and my wife when they terminated our internet. Seems they were working on research papers for their science fairs at the time. Of course it didn't hurt to introduce them to the local library but the point is Concast needs to focus on fixing their screwed up customer service before they should branch out.

They can't take care of what they already have!

Re:Great - I can see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29605399)

Comcast bought our local cable company a couple years ago. The local cable company was already fairly expensive, but they always had really good service whenever I had a problem. Since Comcast bought them, they have increased the rates a ridiculous amount over the span of about a year. My bill went from being $77 to over $110 -- for exactly the same service. When I called to cancel, they offered a much better rate (about $56), but I'm through with Comcast.

Lamest rebranding since BEFORE Spike (0)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604701)

(who might have the single lamest rebranding since well before Spike)

There, fixed that for you.

Comcast has dening this rumer (1)

ogiller (3107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604757)

Typically Comcast does not comment on Mergers and Acquisition rumors. However, they have come out publicly and denied that there is a deal to acquire NBC. Comcast said, âoeWhile we do not normally comment on merger and acquisition rumors, the report that Comcast has a deal to acquire NBC Universal is inaccurate.â

NBC has not made any comment.

Re:Comcast has dening this rumer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29605137)

What fucking language was your subject line written in? It sure as hell wasn't English!

Rebranding? (2, Interesting)

Blink Tag (944716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604859)

Syfy has the single lamest rebranding since Spike?

I think you're forgetting The Shack [slashdot.org]

Re:Rebranding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29606809)

Syfy has the single lamest rebranding since Spike?

I think you're forgetting The Shack [slashdot.org]

Well, we were all TRYING to forget it! Thank you so bloody much for reminding us!:P

Comcast sucks....... (2, Interesting)

Watsonr8 (1645895) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604861)

Comcast sucks......... limited channels HD and standard, your bill is never what they say it will be my bill jumped from $69.99 a month to $150.00, and this week i order a new dv recorder box and they offered for a tech to come out and "install" the box for the small fee of $99. i had to laugh. Hate to see what they have in store for us with even more of a monopoly.....

Re:Comcast sucks....... (1)

roachdabug (1198259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605539)

Just yesterday I called to inquire about acquiring another HD cable box for a new TV in my home. They quoted me an approximate $5/mo. to lease the additional box. When I went to pick it up they told me the lease on the FIRST box is $5 and each additional is $15/mo. Then they told me I needed to have a technician come out and run a new cable because connecting to the same line that my cable modem is on wouldn't work.

I explained to them that they weren't dealing with your average garden variety mindless idiot, and that I'd like to cancel my service. At that point they offered me the additional box at the $5/mo originally quoted, and knocked an additional $20/mo off my bill to keep me as a customer.

I guess the moral of the story is that they love to prey on the stupid but are quick to change their tune when you call them out on it.

I hope this means good things... (2, Funny)

ronobot (739113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604889)

I hope this means good things for my Sheinhardt Wig Company shares!

In other news comcast also set to purchase... (3, Funny)

maggotsforbreakfast (1646317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604923)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Telecom giant Comcast is buying privately held goatse.asia, a top web destination firm, for $3.1 billion in cash, the companies said Friday afternoon. Comcast is set to purchase goatse.asia from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which bought the website in 2005 for $1.1 billion in a deal that took the company private. For Comcast, the deal will likely help boost its presence in the area of Internet display advertising, ads on banners, videos and other non-text based types of ads. Goatse.asia specializes on placing and serving banners and other display ads on its prominent Web site. "Comcast is the 800-pound gorilla in online services. They were before this merger and they will be tomorrow so on one level this doesn't change anything," said Derek Brown, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald. "But at the same time, this deal clearly has the potential to ignite Comcast's efforts in the display ad market and down the road gives them the opportunity to create a platform that marries both their services and display ads in a way that it will be hard to fathom others imitating," Brown added.

No ads? (2, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605075)

So if the distributor owns the content creator, does that mean no ads? I grew up with paying the equivalent of $20/month for TV and getting no ads, so I found it highly irritating in N. America paying $40/month or more, and being bombarded with the most mindless of advertising.

Dream on.

Hulu (1)

KuNgFo0 (519426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605827)

I live in a state that Comcast doesn't service so I don't have to worry about them much. However I am a big fan of Hulu, which NBC owns a big stake of, right? Would anyone comment on Comcast's trend of business practices and what they might do with their share of Hulu?

most annoying leno ever (2, Interesting)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29605933)

if nbc will be run anything like comcasts cable modem division, I assume I will get to watch about 10 minutes of jay lenos new show, then nbc will "go down", at which point I will call into nbc, ask them what the problem is, have them tell me they can see my tv just fine so the problem must be on my end. I'll restart my cable box, but no change. After another 20 minutes on the phone they will tell me more people in my area have reported an issue and that a technician is on the way to the main nbc studio. 45 minutes later nbc will start broadcasting again and the show will be over.

AOL (1)

SecretSquirrel321 (1256326) | more than 4 years ago | (#29606545)

So this would be like AOL buying Time Warner? (I know it was the reverse). These kinds of odd combinations are the signs of executive minds run amock.
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