Comcast has always been an aggressive cable company. I emphasize the word cable. Cable companies make lots of money by forcing people to pay monthly fees for access to TV content (that Comcast gets in package deals). At the end of the day, cable is about pay for play. This business model made sense in the old days, especially in cities where TV reception was poor, and cable fixed the problem — for a price, and a locked in market.
Now Comcast has purchased NBC Universal from GE. NBC is a content provider conglomerate. Content distributor buys content provider. Makes sense? Well, there is a problem and it is called the internet. More and more content is going online for free, and NBC owns part of Hulu, one of the major providers. But getting people online has not been one of Comcast’s highest priorities. It is not a proprietary field. It cannot be controlled. How Un-Comcast!
So, as WP’s Rob Pegorano asks, will Comcast find religion now and adapt? I doubt it. More likely, Comcast’s purchase will turn into the latest version of the
aging almost boring story line — how traditional media can or cannot squeeze revenue from digital media. This is NYT’s take. In any event, don’t expect Comcast to walk away from its subscription based model. It’s just too damned convenient — for Comcast.
FOLLOW- I wonder what Comcast execs think of Boxee? Giga provides some background on Boxee.