As Expected, FCC Says Okay To Comcast/NBC Universal Deal

from the the-conditions-matter dept

As was widely expected, the FCC today approved the Comcast/NBC Universal merger with some conditions. The Justice Department still has to give its okay too, but everyone expects that to happen shortly. The full details aren't yet clear, but from some reports it looks like the "conditions" are pretty vague concepts on program carriage and support for non-discrimination, without an explicit requirement. None of this is surprising. I still think critics of this deal may have overreacted, as I still expect the combined company to continue to blunder its way forward.


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  1.  
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    Zacqary Adam Green (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Incompetence can be just as dangerous as pure evil, though. Ever seen Brazil?

    Or, hell, ever lived through the Bush administration?

     

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  2.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Re:

    Or, hell, ever lived through the Bush administration?

    Personally, I did fine through either Bush administration. Now Carter times sucked pretty hard and Obama times are looking to be a watered down imitation of them. From a personal standpoint, mind you. They've pretty much all sucked in my lifetime from a liberty standpoint.

     

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  3.  
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    Stephen, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    comcast and nbc

    The article cited points out: "The agreement requires the Comcast-NBCU venture to ensure its content is available on reasonable terms to competing cable and satellite providers as well as rival online video services in an attempt to limit Comcast's influence over the growing online video market."

    Get ready for the battle over the word "reasonable."

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    From the linked news article:

    "Comcast will own 51 percent of the new entity, while GE will retain ownership of the rest."

    Does this mean that GE has divested itself of its broadcast and theme park businesses?

     

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  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    Don't you know that GE owns the broadcasters and theme parks?

    They have the puppets and only give them so much string.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Horizontal merger are difficult that doesn't mean they can't succeed and in this case success means loss for consumers everywhere.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    I still expect the combined company to continue to blunder its way forward

    As TD continues to blunder it's way around in circles?

     

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  8.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    "I still expect the combined company to continue to blunder its way forward"

    I expect it to fail on the Comcast side. If you want a date just ask and give me a week to do due dillegence. I will even chart out when GE will sell of its remaining shares.

    GE did good with this, they constantly make great decisions business wise. They will more than likely continue to profit from this until cord cutting, video singles (not TV networks) become standard, and competition from online reduces profits.

    Comcast expects things to continue along the same path, just like everyone in the media and content industry have done for the past 10 years and will continue to do. Management at comcast runs the company and have no vision, are five years behind the curve, and have a locked mentality.

    I am on a camel, acting like a stock geek again, hand me that chart of straw futures. ;)

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Careful with the camel, because it just wants to hump.

    I think the "video singles" is as unlikely as the broadcast networks surviving forever. But it is clear, there will also be aggregator brands that will have to sift through the trash to find you the gold. NBC / CBS / ABC / USA are just as good as anyone else on that level.

    It is also clear that without assured mass markets, content production at high levels will drop off dramatically, at least in the short term. TV networks still can put 8 - 25 million eyeballs onto a single program, which nothing else can do. All the rickrolls in the world still don't add up to a single hour of broadcast TV, which is significant.

    Things don't move until there is a reason to, and so far, there is little reason.

    GW is smart and hedging their bets, comcast is playing the "we own the wires" game that will likely play out well.

     

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  10.  
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    Fuzzy, Jan 18th, 2011 @ 5:39pm

    "Personally, I did fine through either Bush administration."

    Too bad the world's economy didn't. Guess we now know how little character and integrity you have.

    And to Techdirt: when are you going to stop wishing for blunders to correct monopoly and internet censorship? Strong regulation sounds like the better alternative. I mean, assuming you actually want to do something about it.

     

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  11.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I think the "video singles" is as unlikely as the broadcast networks surviving forever."

    Yeah, and what do you call law and order on iTunes?

    "It is also clear that without assured mass markets, content production at high levels will drop off dramatically, at least in the short term. TV networks still can put 8 - 25 million eyeballs onto a single program, which nothing else can do."

    uTorrent now has 100,000,000 - thats 100 million users and is promoting video and music. Face Book has 500,000,000 - thats 500 million users with 700 million this time next year, indie music and video are beginning to show up there. Vodo, YouTube, iTunes, google. Talk about eyeballs, the totals are in and its way over half the internet with just the companies I mentioned.

    Welcome to the future. Its all about incremental changes leading to a cascade, or catastrophic failure of incumbents.

    "Things don't move until there is a reason to, and so far, there is little reason."

    High prices, crappy programming, limited choice on your channels based on packages, restrictions on everything you do, poor service, limited bandwidth, throttling, etc, etc, etc.

    "GE (not GW) is smart and hedging their bets, comcast is playing the "we own the wires" game that will likely play out well."

    While I agree GE is hedging their bets. They know what is coming for the content industry. The rest of your statement is how ever crap.

    Here is contents really big problem, "We are a monopoly and you have no choice", Leads to inovation and change. I will give you one huge example.

    Netflix is not afraid of bandwidth caps ...

    Recently I saw an nvidia tesla card turn a compressed 68 meg file into full screen 1080p in real time.

    Everything in the nvidia mini supercomputer (HPC) class ends up in consumer products about 2 years later due to Moore's law. Which states "The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years."

    There are three curves, real time decompression ratio, download limits in Mb, and average user usage in Mb. Which means. The cable companies can not place caps low enough to prevent the video revolution that is coming without pissing off and loosing customers.

    "All the rickrolls in the world still don't add up to a single hour of broadcast TV, which is significant."

    Pioneer One on Vodo. Nuff said.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 18th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Recently I saw an nvidia tesla card turn a compressed 68 meg file into full screen 1080p in real time. "

    Forgot to mention it was a 86 Minute video.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2011 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Pretty amazing considering top of the line encodes are roughly 10x that size currently. How do they get a Meg per minute of 1080p?

     

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  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 19th, 2011 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Okay I just got schooled ...

    68 minute video
    720p not 1080p
    6.2 meg a minute max
    1.8 meg a minute min
    2.8 meg a minute avg
    25.6 hour compression time with realtime playback
    dual nvidia tesla cards used for both comression and decompression

    and a quote from the guy that schooled me

    "If you are going to quote numbers make sure you get them right ... dumb ass ... and the compression can go higher. The quoted 68 meg was if you want to use this to deliver compressed movies and wait four hours per hour of video while they decompress"

     

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  15.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 19th, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "How do they get a Meg per minute of 1080p?"

    In the email I got schooled in, he mentioned fractal compression and allowing the computer to evolve its own methods of compression. Also the Keyframes or intra frames are the bottleneck not the temporal motion compensation. Each Keyframe is actually a 4 color (rgb and black) or layered fractal. Don't ask me what that means I have no clue. The evolution part I understand I have used it in automated trading. The fractals part is beyond me.

     

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  16.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 19th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    Strong regulation sounds like the better alternative.

    Yes, because monopolies never came into being due to "strong regulation".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Fresno Dentist, Jan 20th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    This will be good. Not too happy with ATT

     

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  18.  
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    Fresno Dentist, Nov 19th, 2011 @ 10:28pm

    Still not happy :(

    I hope things change. monoploies are bad

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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