There has been a lot of nonsense written about the Comcast/GE/NBCU deal so far (and certainly more to come), but Ben Grossman's piece in Broadcasting & Cable is a refreshing change. He brings up 10 points; most of which are actually worth thinking about.
Here are two interesting ones:
Versus/NBC Sports. Amortizing rights fees over the cable side could give Dick Ebersol a new sling of arrows to fire at some major sports acquisitions. While a deal like the NFL on NBC is a money loser (as are all NFL network deals) having a full-time cable outlet, as well as some regional sports nets, opens up a whole new ballgame. Whether or not they “go after ESPN” is not the point; there is plenty of room for both if Comcast can grab a big-time property or two.
ESPN is the most valuable cable network, by a long shot. If Comcast/NBCU wants to emulate it, it'll have to invest some real money and time (as did Disney with ESPN), but its definitely in the realm of possibility.
The Friday Night Lights Model. A while back, Steve Burke told me that if the right opportunity arose, Comcast would look at a similar model to the DirecTV deals, in which the satellite provider gets a first run of a show and picks up a chunk of the production tab, with the second run airing on a network. It'll be interesting to see if Comcast experiments with some reverse-windowing now that it has its own network, or if that model is just dead.
This was news to me, but it makes sense. Comcast's cable business is all about gaining relative advantages vs. satellite and telco TV services. The downside? Steve Burke just added himself to the contact list of every crazy TV fan looking to save their doomed show.
via Broadcasting & Cable.