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Comcast + NBC = BAD

This is something that will no doubt go completely unnoticed by the mainstream media, and it will probably happen eventually. But why am I the only one I've talked to outraged by this??? Read here: Comcast in deal talks with NBC Universal (This has since been denied, but still worth talking about.)

This is a HUGE problem. The people providing the conduit for content to come to the consumer should not have a competing stake in what content you are watching. This is the CORE issue of net neutrality; the communications pipe should be CONTENT NEUTRAL. Obviously it already happens all the time; Time Warner clearly has a huge stake in the CW and so on, but it's outrageous and has consequences.

Just to clarify what I mean, think about this: Comcast owns NBC, which plays a national news program that competes with those on ABC, CBS, Fox, etc. As a partial owner of the station, Comcast could profit form the ad revenue that the NBC program pulls in, meaning they have a vested stake in having eyeballs choosing NBC. Now, Comcast owns and controls the pipe that channels come through. In America, there's essentially a non-compete setup going on; where I live, it's against the community rules to have a satellite dish, AT&T is considered really poor, and Comcast is the only cable provider (due to crappy and outdated laws). Doesn't this seem like a HUGE conflict of interest? There's laws in place somewhat preventing this, but it's pretty generally agreed upon that they're super weak laws.

This has happened before. In 2000, Time Warner and ABC got into a spat and for 36 hours ABC was shut off. And the way it works now, most content providers have their hands in content creation: Time Warner owns CNN, CW, and a ton of cable networks, NewsCorp owns DirecTV and all the Fox crap, etc. Imagine if this translated to what people fear is going to happen to the internet: GE, which owns NBC, also owns Hulu. If Comcast had a stake in Hulu, it's a HUGE conflict of interest and the technology exists to make you pay more for other video providers; picture "Basic Comcast Internet - Hulu Included, youtube for $5/MB, Intermediate Internet - More Money, Hulu Included, Youtube Downloads Included, Uploads $5/200kb" etc.

To me, this is complete crap. It's about revenue sharing. In an ideal world, content conduits make their revenue through subscriptions and should be able to compete FREELY on available infrastructure. They have made back their infrastructure investments by several times and Cable backbones should be government owned and licensed out JUST LIKE AIRWAVES. The whole structure for content agreements is broken; like how now DirecTV customers can't get VS. and have no recourse but one of the other limited carriers. Carriers then compete for who can provide the best to-the-house service. Content creators then make their money on the ads; that how it should work, they're rewarded by revenue for making content that attracts eyeballs.

Anyway, this news is disturbing to me and people should be thinking about it on these terms. It's bad for the consumer for all these FCC protections and exclusivity agreements to be in place.

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