Thursday, December 3, 2009

Comcast buying NBC/Universal

The news has been announced that cable giant Comcast and General Electric have apparently reached a deal for Comcast to get a majority stake of NBC/Universal and the various properties it owns.

What does this mean for us classic movie fans? Probably not much. NBC/Universal of course owns the Universal Studios movie library, as well as several hundred Paramount titles from the dawn of the sound era through the end of the 1940s, which Paramount had sold to MCA back in the 1950s when nobody realized just how big of a business showing old stuff on TV was going to become. NBC/Universal also runs a bunch of cable channels, although currently none of them that I can think of show much in the way of classic movies.

If the takeover does affect us, it's probably in a rise in the price of our cable or satellite bills. Comcast owns the sports channel Versus, and has apparently been trying to jack up the rice for carriage rights, to the point that DirecTV decided it won't pay what Comcast is asking. That having been said, I'm surprised NBC/Universal never even really seemed to try to figure out a way to make money of all those old movies. Apparently it really is more profitable to show crummy infomercialslate at night instead of the library of movies they own.

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