Thursday, October 01, 2009

"I Want My NBC!", Sings Comcast - Implications for Hulu & Your Web Viewing Habits

The LA Times today reports that Comcast may be eyeing a major stake in NBC Universal -- possibly as much as 20% (which is Vivendi's current stake in the media company). According to the company itself, it is worth between $30-35 billion.

Why? Apart from its massive distribution muscle, Comcast wants more control over content as more and more content and "TV" viewing (i.e., premier highly produced TV programming and motion pictures) moves to the Web. Hulu and other sites that feature that kind of highly produced programming represent a direct and significant threat to Comcast and the other cable and satellite behemoths. I have written about this several times before -- these are the IPTV v. Internet TV wars (with Comcast aggressively -- very aggressively (and understandably from its perspective) being the poster child for the former cause. And Hulu in particular -- the most popular of those sites that feature TV programming -- is ... surprise, surprise ... a joint venture between NBC Universal and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Coincidence? Hmmmm, I think not.

With a significant ownership stake in NBC Universal, Comcast would have a strong voice in how the media company's content would be distributed (and monetized) across the Internet, including via Hulu.

Not a surprising move at all ... and possibly a very significant one for consumers and how they will be able to view premier content on the Web. And, this would represent just the latest move by Comcast to push its IPTV vision ...