Interesting take on the (still) potential NBCU/Comcast deal by John Malone. The conventional wisdom of what Comcast might do did seem to be negative for the local NBC affiliates, but it had not occurred to me that they might try and hold up the deal approval politically in exchange for concessions.
To win government approval of its takeover of NBC Universal, Comcast may first have to win the approval of the NBC affiliates, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said in an interview with John Faber on CNBC.
"That is going to be the biggest political issue in this whole thing: What will the broadcast affiliates of NBC say they want to not fight this transaction?" he said.
And Malone's not too keen on the broadcast affiliate business in general.
"The big issue is localism," he said. "It's about broadcast affiliates locally, whether or not that model is viable."
According to Malone, the model is not viable: "Don't work," he said.
The networks will have to either subsidize their affiliates or dump them and become cable networks, he said.