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I was just reading several blogs and saw this great diary from Icebergslim, (good to see you) and I noticed the back and forth about Olbermann and Obama.
While surfing the blogs related to this,  I was alarmed by this story on Huffington Post
about the Comcast takeover of NBC and by that I also mean, progressive television on MSNBC.
So you are thinking "Comcast, so what?"
Well, there have been diaries here about Comcast removing MSNBC from the regular cable line up - in favor of Golf TV or Food Network or for whatever is not the outlet for our progressive voices.
read on...

General Electric Co. has reached an agreement to buy the 20 percent stake in NBC Universal held by French media conglomerate Vivendi SA, The Associated Press has learned.

That would pave the way for GE to sell a 51 percent stake in the TV and movie company to Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable TV provider. That deal, which would make Philadelphia-based Comcast one of the nation's largest entertainment companies, is valued at about $30 billion....
NBC Universal was formed in 2004, after Vivendi agreed to merge its Vivendi Universal Entertainment business with GE's NBC in a move to sell off some of its businesses after running up billions of dollars in debt in a buyout binge. Comcast wants NBC Universal largely for its lucrative cable channels, such as Bravo and CNBC. NBC Universal also spans the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, the Universal Pictures movie studio and Universal theme parks.

Josh Silver has some very good reasons why this merger is bad for us all.

  1.  The merger would eliminate the hard bargaining for distribution and content that normally occurs between distributors (like Comcast) and content producers (like NBC). That competitive bargaining will only intensify as more video is distributed over the Internet in the coming years.

  2. The Comcast-NBC behemoth would control several distribution platforms -- a major television network, the largest cable company and the largest Internet service provider. The merged company will have strong incentives and the market power to discriminate in granting access to its wealth of programming. It will have the incentive and market power to enforce anticompetitive "bundling" and price-gouge other cable companies, especially smaller cable companies.

  3. As the largest cable company and Internet service provider, Comcast will have the motive to move NBC's video content behind a pay wall that will mean higher costs for consumers, and it would stunt the growth of the Internet as an alternative medium for video service. Placing video content behind a pay wall that is only available to Comcast cable customers is a classic example of "anticompetitive bundling." That is, consumers who want Internet access to NBC programming will be forced to buy the bundle of cable and Internet.

  4. Perhaps the most dangerous risk of this deal -- and one we have seen many times in years past is that it will trigger a "merger wave" throughout the industry as distribution companies and content companies seek to "muscle up" to match the new threat that the vertically integrated Comcast poses. Consumer choice will be restricted and prices will rise. With diminishing competition, the likelihood of similar behavior by other companies grows stronger, as does the threat of collusion among competitors.

If you don't want to see the progressive voices on MSNBC silenced, then join the 'no merger' petition

thanks for the rec list guys:
this just in courtesy of  Paleo - it looks like this will will be the first big test of the Obama administration's regulators

"This deal will really be scrutinized very strongly," Benjamin Stretch, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc. in New York, said on Bloomberg Television today. "It is the first major test of the FCC and the Obama administration, in terms of how they want to manage media and technology and distribution policy in this country."

One can hope that Obama will not continue the same type of policies that the Clinton administration pursued towards de-regulation.

Originally posted to wade norris on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 09:23 PM PST.

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