The Olympics start in twenty-three days. But the real games begin in a mere 15 days on February 4th. That's when NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker and Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts will be in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee's anti-trust panel which will begin to examine Comcast's $30 billion purchase for a controlling stake of NBC Universal.
Zucker and Roberts will testify on the the impact of the pending deal and presumably how it will impact:
- broadcast television
- cable television
- Internet delivery of television content
Perhaps chief among the issues that Comcast/NBCU need to make regulators comfortable with is that they will have to convince them that Comcast isn't gaining any unfair advantage due to access to content.
My take the anti-trust concerns aren't so great that this deal won't ultimately be approved. But in the best of circumstances, any day that ends in a "y" is a good day for political posturing.
Now, with the timing of the February 4 hearing, and all eyes already on NBC due to its recent & soon-to-be announced late night maneuvering, the politicos might be even more prone than normal to milk the opportunity for every drop of exposure they can squeeze out of it.