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The Future of Web Video At Stake In Comcast-NBC Regulatory Review 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-your-grubby-mitts-off-my-htpc dept.
Phoghat writes with this excerpt from the Washington Post: "It won't be long before video from the Internet is always within reach — whether it's on a smart phone, a tablet computer or a high-end television in your living room. But what if there's nothing worth watching? ... Regulators are pushing for tough conditions to ensure that Comcast can't stifle online video services by withholding content or pushing up prices for marquee NBC programs at a time viewers are starting to turn to the Internet for recent movies or the latest episodes of 'Saturday Night Live,' '30 Rock' and other popular TV shows. The concessions they extract from Comcast in its bid for NBC will help determine whether customers can someday realistically drop their cable subscriptions and go online-only for their TV. ... Comcast has been resisting federal regulators' efforts to tear down some of those walls, arguing that those efforts are unnecessary because NBC Universal accounts for about 10 percent of television viewing in the US and less than 10 percent of US box office revenue — and is therefore too small to dictate how the industry will develop."
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The Future of Web Video At Stake In Comcast-NBC Regulatory Review

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  • by findlawyerdirect (1951888) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:40PM (#34540290) Homepage
    Its good to see regulators taking a pro-active role than a reactive one.
    • by beakerMeep (716990) on Monday December 13, 2010 @07:47PM (#34541018)

      If by proactive you mean re-branding "managed services" as net neutrality [arstechnica.com] and patting themselves on the back -- meanwhile blessing ISP throttling, and mobile throttling, [arstechnica.com] thus protecting corporate profit in an industry with already insanely high profit margins, at the expensive of the consumer and innovative companies like netflix... then, uh, yeah.

      The FCC needs to wake the hell up and realize they aren't protecting competition in a nascent market but rather protecting the government granted monopolies which stifle innovation and are the very reason the market is still "nascent." This is why the US is so far behind in broadband. [slashdot.org]

      Personally I suspect a lot of the news coming out now is orchestrated PR for the policy vote coming on the 21st. I think the FCC is putting out a lot of "we're fighting for the little guy" stories to soften the blow of toothless net neutrality policy that relies on the goodwill of ISPs to act "reasonably" and "transparently"

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Citation needed on the insanely high profit margins bit. Comcast's last income statement [yahoo.com] shows a net income of 10% of revenue which hardly seems like a pound of flesh to me.

        Not that that makes them saints, but I get a little irritated that everyone tries to make people that they disagree with into monsters.

        • Citation needed showing that Comcast is not one of the many companies that falsifies their books.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            They don't even need to falsify. There are so many loopholes and write-downs that of course they can make these numbers up. If you are saying a 10% ROI/ROC, that's a pretty good number in reality...

            I suspect if you could get a hold of what they are telling their shareholders, you'll see a much more rosy picture their ROI/ROC numbers.

            It's also interesting.. If it's such an insignificant % of the viewing numbers, why is a distribution channel looking into a content company? Could it be because they expect
  • Right. Because Apple, which had less than 10% market share, has had 0 effect on the computing market, and other related markets, in the last decade, because of a
    • Re:apple (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:49PM (#34540410)

      Right. Because Apple, which had less than 10% market share, has had 0 effect on the computing market, and other related markets, in the last decade, because of a

      because of a .... what?!? Dammit! Do I have to wait 'till next week to find out?!? Get the DVD?!?

      What!? What ?!?

      • Actually, I typed more as I waited for preview, then the preview showed up without that little bit, and I changes tabs, came back, and hit submit. Short term memory FTL.
      • Re:apple (Score:5, Funny)

        by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:51AM (#34543600)

        He was writing a sarcastic post that was ever so slightly derogatory about Apple. His iPhone's Brand Image Integrity Sensor (R) (C) (TM) picked this up and dispatched a team of commandos driving black Priuses and wearing black turtleneck combat vests.

        Good thing I don't have any Apple products in my home! The bastards can't get to disregard my previous statements. All is well. Hail Apple and Greatfather Jobs, for he brings glory to all of our iProducts.

    • Right. Because Apple, which had less than 10% market share, has had 0 effect on the computing market, and other related markets, in the last decade, because of a

      Run-on sentence?

  • "It won't be long before video from the Internet is always within reach — whether it's on a smart phone, a tablet computer or a high-end television in your living room."

    Umm.... I thought video from the internet already was always within reach? I can get to video from the internet via my smartphone, iPad, AND TV already!!!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, to be fair, you either do it "illegally" or you wait something like 6 - 15 days after "original airing" to see it (if it was a TV show). Some people don't care about the delay, others do. Obviously the delay is there to "protect" the premium advertising dollars that broadcast TV still pulls in. The question is, will the FCC back Comcast and other broadcasters plans and protect their business model. I think even the Comcast's of the world realize that the days of "broadcast TV" are numbered and that it
      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Unless you want to pay for TV content on a pay-per-view basis, the ad revenue pretty much has to be protected. Take away the ad revenue and you are going to take away commercially produced content because there will be no revenue.

        Happy with only amature content? Hope so, because if the revenue disappears there will be no commercially produced content.

        • by Thing 1 (178996)
          There's a lot to be said for amateur content.
        • by forrie (695122)

          The TV providers and networks are suffering similar growing pains as the music industry -- the Internet is a major game changer that is impossible to ignore. These providers continue to rely on what I feel to be an antiquated "ratings" system by which the fate of many good programs is ill decided.

          Today, it's not unusual for programs to come and go, sometimes abruptly due to "ratings". This puts the content providers in a difficult position where they must either fight tooth and nail to preserve their w

  • by timeOday (582209) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:47PM (#34540384)
    Tim Wu's new book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires," is relevant and worth looking at here - if nothing else, read the salon.com review [salon.com]:

    Wu, a prominent champion of net neutrality, proposes what he calls "a Separation Principle for the information economy." He wants to see "those who develop information, those who own the network infrastructure on which it travels, and those who control the tools or venues of access ... kept apart from one another." He also wants the government to "keep its distance and not intervene in the market to favor any technology, network monopoly, or integration of the major functions of an information industry."

    I'm sure the book is more nuanced than this, but IMHO allowing competitors to control access to each others' content is simply bound to fail, converging at a point advantageous to those who own the toll booths, and bad for almost everybody else and the economy and culture as a whole.

    • by zn0k (1082797)

      > I'm sure the book is more nuanced than this

      Have you read it? That's an odd way to phrase things if you had read it, though. But why would you recommend it if you hadn't?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not the NBC that worry me, it's Comcast power of a cable provider cutting off other shows from HBO or ESPN for example.

  • Flawed Assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retech (1228598) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:50PM (#34540430)
    "But what if there's nothing worth watching?"
    I did not realize the networks had anything worth watching right now.
    • by Binestar (28861)
      Chuck, Top Gear, NFL Football, Tosh.0, Robot Chicken (Those are my top 5, not in that order)
      • by StikyPad (445176)

        There are some circumstances where that works, but the process of elimination doesn't seem to be the correct method in this case.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "But what if there's nothing worth watching?"

      I did not realize the networks had anything worth watching right now.

      Maybe you spend too much time trying to act cool on Slashdot instead of catching some good T.V.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "But what if there's nothing worth watching?"

        I did not realize the networks had anything worth watching right now.

        Maybe you spend too much time trying to act cool on Slashdot instead of catching some good T.V.

        Perhaps he has more of a life than sitting growing fat in front of a television?

        • "But what if there's nothing worth watching?"

          I did not realize the networks had anything worth watching right now.

          Maybe you spend too much time trying to act cool on Slashdot instead of catching some good T.V.

          Perhaps he has more of a life than sitting growing fat in front of a television?

          Yeah, growing fat in front of a computer is much better. Why do you douchebags [theonion.com] who hate TV so much insist on reading and posting in TV threads?

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Call me crazy, but I like to watch networks' nightly news. It seems to me that because it is so mainstream, and not targeted to much of anybody in particular, that it is more balanced (compared to most Internet news sites). And because they are constrained to a 1/2 hour format, they don't waste so much time on talking heads, and repeating themselves (compared to cable news). Finally the production value is very high; they send people to do onsite reporting, obtain the best footage available, have more ac
    • I did not realize the networks had anything worth watching right now.

      I canceled my Cable and stopped watching all broadcast TV except for the local nightly news (mostly for the weather) more than a year ago. Everything I watch now is either on DVD or Netflix. The sense of enlightenment that comes from curing the affliction of television is not too dissimilar from Neo waking up to the real world for the first time.

      Broadcast TV is a cancerous disease that needs to be eradicated for the benefit of society.

    • I did not realize the networks had anything worth watching right now.

      -- If you ignore it long enough, eventually the problem just goes away.

      There is so much irony in your signature I really don't know where to begin...

  • I think I speak for everyone outside of the US when I say just shut the heck up about how the web is the future of TV until the rest of us can partake of this goodness.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fuck you and your BBC exclusion to the United States.

      Sincerely,
      Americans tired of American media

    • Did anyone else hear something? Hmm... weird... Guess I might have my AWESOME HIGH DEFINITION STREAMING VIDEOS turned up too loud...

      P.S. Until BBC starts simulcasting new Dr. Who episodes on their website to the entire world, I could care less what you non-American subhumans think. :)

    • Why don't you come on over the the US, live here long enough to become a citizen and vote, then you get the right to bitch about how the federal government handles US programming for the US

      MKay?

  • How many people choose IE to get at that other 10% of the World Wide Web?

    When my wife discovered Netflix streaming I had to switch from Linux to OS-X.

    When it comes to accessing information, people will put in some extra time/money/effort.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      When my wife discovered netflix streaming I bought a $99.00 RoKu box and stuck with linux on everything... Plus it's far better than sitting there watching it on a tiny screen.

  • by Das Auge (597142) on Monday December 13, 2010 @07:04PM (#34540574)
    The concept of having to wait watch videos at intervals set by a company is so very 1950s. This is the 21st century as we have something called on-demand. Yeah, cable companies do it to a small extent, but not like Netflix does. Combine that with the sub-par quality and speed they provide compared to DSL and they're going to be marginalized in the coming years. Even more so when the over 50 crowd dies.

    Much like music and the RIAA, they're going to loose the center stage. Which means that you can expect them to start trying to buy politicians (or using the ones that they've already purchased) to pass laws that try to keep their antiquated method of business alive.

    I like this proactive step to prevent that.
    • Re:Step Aside (Score:5, Interesting)

      by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday December 13, 2010 @07:27PM (#34540784)

      Even more so when the over 50 crowd dies.

      I was actually enjoying your comment until encountering this bit of prejudicial age-ist nonsense. In my experience, lack of imagination, fear of new things (including technology), and the reluctance/inability to change old habits (or deal with change in general) don't correlate very well with age. Today's youth could very well be in the same boat 30 years from now when their own inflexibility keeps them stuck while the world moves on. But there will be plenty that keep up just fine, regardless of age.

      • by Das Auge (597142)
        My apologies, it wasn't meant to be taken as a derogatory statement. I was referring to the force of habit. These people grew up with only scheduled television, so they'd be most likely to continue using it because it's what they've done the longest.

        Just because I wrote something on the Internet doesn't mean I'm a troll. ;)
        • These people grew up with only scheduled television, so they'd be most likely to continue using it because it's what they've done the longest.

          Poppycock you whippersnapper. I am 61 years old and my home is fully wired to accept programming from cable, OTA HDTV, shortwave, and streaming over IP. Plus I frequently use streamed media from my own media server or physical media (SACD, DVD-A, CD, DVD or BluRay). My experience is that when a new technology is added it gets incorporated into my life in addition to w

          • Poppycock you whippersnapper. I am 61 years old and...

            You'd have to be totally disconnected from reality to think that you and your father are a representative sample. You might as well argue that young people don't like current pop music. Sure there is a minority that don't match the profile, but the OP said "most likely" not "always."

        • by zmollusc (763634)

          Dang it, we done had vcrs back in my day, sonny! That's nigh on thirty-five years ago! We knew scheduled television sucked, that is why we bought them expensive u-matic do-hickeys! (Well, that and the sepia films of lady's ankles)

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            Ahhh, the venerable VO-1600... I can imagine the lights dimming as that thing spun up the motors. Problem was it could bot schedule recordings, you had to set it's mechanical tuner to the station and press record while you watched something else. Problem was, it never recorded the whole show...Tapes were not long enough for a 1 hour show...

            The phillips N-1500 was the first real VCR with a timer....

            The pure smearing of the nasty NTSC video.... which you could not tell because broadcast was all smeared an

      • I was actually enjoying your comment until encountering this bit of prejudicial age-ist nonsense

        ...at which point I spit my prune juice out and shook my cane at the screen. I didn't fight the communists of Hollywood daily for 40 years just to be OFFENDED by something I read on the INTERNET!!!

        I'm so mad, I JUST CRAPPED MY PANTS!

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Yes, but there are things that younger generations feel differently about - homosexual marriage and recreational drug use, for instance. I can't remember anyone in my high school being against these things other than being opposed to them personally (i.e. "I'll never use drugs, but I don't care if someone else does") or religious reasons ("drugs are bad, gays will burn in hell, yadda yadda").

        By the time my generation starts voting more heavily (as they age), most of the people who oppose the things they hav

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Monday December 13, 2010 @07:04PM (#34540576)

    The concessions they extract from Comcast in its bid for NBC will help determine whether customers can someday realistically drop their cable subscriptions and go online-only for their TV.

    As a matter of fact, I just dropped off my old cable box today. "Internet only," I told them...

    • I did the same about three months ago and haven't looked back once. What isn't on Netflix or Hulu can be found elsewhere.

      For those that are watched elsewhere at a loss to the production company, it is nobody's fault but their own. Provide the video on Netflix or Hulu and make your respectable profit from ad revenue and subscription fees, or don't be surprised when your viewership and ratings plummet and illegal sharing skyrockets.

      • What isn't on Netflix or Hulu can be found elsewhere

        Not live sports. Some of us went to engineering schools that had football teams.

        There is no reasonable HD online source for live sports. Microsoft's Smooth Streaming demo/broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics is the only truly HD-and-live sporting event I can recall being available at any sort of scale. (Quality for the downhill was fantastic on a 10 Mbps link, thanks to LimeLight I suppose). ESPN3 quality and selection sucks.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      I pay for cable TV even though it's not connected to my TV, because Comcast charges more for Internet than for Internet + Basic TV.

      To me this is a clear sign that something is messed up.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Adelphia and @Home, before they both died, used to do this too for ten bucks difference.

      • Comcast: Take our 50 channels of QVC and similar crap, please! Here's $120 if you'll take it for a year, you don't even have to watch it! We still have a choice of providers. The phone company/DSL is an option. Just not a very attractive one at the moment. I suspect, for people who really like watching TV on the internet, Comcast will do something stupid and those customers will switch to the phone company (Verizon, Qwest, whoever) and then Comcast will undo their stupid move or shrink a bit.
        • by timeOday (582209)
          The problem with the phone company is just the same - I don't want their phone service (I use ooma). All their advertized rates assume you bundle. I have tried and tried to figure out exactly how much my monthly bill from them would be, and how fast the service to my home would be, and they simply won't tell you.
  • Opium (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) on Monday December 13, 2010 @07:05PM (#34540584)

    I suspect that I'm going to be modded into oblivion with this comment. So be it.

    TV* is an addiction that's sapping so many of time and energy. How important is Dancing with the Stars, Saturday Night Live and CSI:Whocareswhere? One of the better things that could happen to Western society, IMO, is that there'd be no more "interesting" TV. People would spend more time exercising, engaging in hobbies and talking with others.

    I know, I know, everyone watches only three "quality" shows per week - all on the Discovery Channel, natch. That must be why the highest viewership numbers are for the most intellectually barren shows.

    Over ten years ago, my wife and I ditched our TV. For the first couple of weeks, in the evenings we were at a loss. There was this "hole" in our lives. But once we got past the withdrawal symptoms, we realized how much we'd been hypnotized by the damned thing. We have so much more time now - and we're a lot fitter (back then I was quite the couch potato with the physique to match). When we visit friends who have TVs, watching proves to be quite boring (and at the same time amazing for how utterly moronic the commercials are - we're no longer desensitized I'm guessing).

    Perhaps some will think that I'm a holier-than-thou elitist snob, lying about my lack of TV viewing in an attempt to elevate myself. Whatever. Just try ditching the thing for a few weeks. See what it's like. If you find that your life is really poorer, you can always go back to watching your shows.

    Fire away.

    *: I use the acronym "TV" now as the generic act of watching entertainment shows - regardless of medium.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I suspect that I'm going to be modded into oblivion with this comment. So be it.

      Internetting* is an addiction that's sapping so many of time and energy. How important is Facebook, Twitter and WoW:Whocarespack? One of the better things that could happen to Western society, IMO, is that there'd be no more "interesting" Online. People would spend more time exercising, engaging in hobbies and talking with others.

      I know, I know, everyone views only three "quality" websites per week - all about Open Source So

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I find watching TV is a good way to just reset after spending the better portion of the day doing more stimulating things. 9 hours of work go by, then I spend 30min to an hour on a musical intrument, a couple hours on the computer programming or working on some other project, then an hour or two either studying something, or reading. Add in food prep. time, cleaning, etc, and it's a busy day. If I want to do something brainless and watch some cartoons after a day as full as that, what's the problem?

      • In which case, I see no problem. But given what I see with my peers, and from reading any reasonable metric on the subject, you are not the rule but the exception.
    • by cappp (1822388)
      While I agree with your general point, I wonder if you’re not understating the positive side of entertainment media. All those shows you listed are what create unifying shared cultural moments – the quintessential water cooler conversation topics. A significant part of what makes American’s American, or the French French, or what have you, is their shared cultural touchstones – which are in turn created, propagated, reified, and dissected in popular media.

      Take for instance Jerry S
      • All that you mention involves passive viewing. For example, instead of critiquing CSI's poor make-believe science, engage in real science activities. How about looking at the mountains of the Moon through a telescope? Perhaps make said telescope first. Surely such interactive pastimes are more enriching and persistent. How about building and/or learning to fly a model airplane? Build a radio? A musical instrument? Engage in real activities instead of watching fiction.

        I question the value of the s

    • by Ryanrule (1657199)
      I stopped watching tv when i went to college about 90%, and have kept with that. usually only gets turned on when some great show to watch in hd is on, or i just want some noise while im working and i dont want to make a playlist. still have to mute the commercials though.
    • by gmhowell (26755)

      This link [theonion.com] may be relevant to your interests.

      • The identification of the rare non-TV-owner as the subject of humor/ridicule is in itself is very telling.
        • by gmhowell (26755)

          It's not the identification. I know more than a few people sans TVs. It is the self righteous peacocking that gets to most people.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      My 3 shows...

      Robot chicken, Venture Brothers, and lately reruns of "Drawn together".

      I can learn anytime, I want sophomoric fart jokes for my down time.

    • "*: I use the acronym "TV" now as the generic act of watching entertainment shows - regardless of medium."

      Many others who complain about the concept of "TV" haven't quite identified what they're complaining about. If you really think about it, the problem is "push TV," which refers to over-the-air or cable/satellite programming. Things like DVRs are half-assed band-aids that only perpetuate the problem because you are stuck to the pushers' schedules. In that sense, push television is a huge technological st

    • you assume the masses ever used their time wisely. Before TV it was radio, before radio it was vaudville, before vaudville people went to bed @ 7 or 8 due to lack of lighting, but when they did focus on entertainment it was opera or plays (Shakespere's comedies anyone?).

      The fact is that throughout human history, the educated have been in the vast minority, and the rest of humanity has been dragged up from out caveman roots by a small % of the population. Why would that change now?

    • TV* is an addiction that's sapping so many of time and energy.

      So is the internet. Ironically, your comment is tl;dr.

      - RG>

  • But what if there's nothing worth watching?

    Sorry, kid. You're 20 years too late.

  • Hey, I've got an idea. How about we stop acting like ready access to TV shows and movies is an inalienable right? Or like we're being repressed as a people when movie and TV studios make watching their content more difficult or comcast decides to limit access to the latest episode of your favorite show?

    • Hey, I've got an idea. How about we stop acting like ready access to TV shows and movies is an inalienable right?

      Comcast is trying to mislead people by citing NBC's market share and it seems to have worked in your case. We're not talking about a right to particular TV shows, but rather the free market when there is no realistic alternatives in many locations for both TV and internet access. What we're talking about are now vital utilities. The ability to access news and wether as well as e-mail, voice and video communications, research topics. I'd assert that data pipes, whether delivering TV programs, music, or rando

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        NBC's content is a piss in the bucket of the better stuff out there. the BBC produces a lot, as well as a lot of other smaller players.

        Honestly, content without a big conglomo is right around the corner... NBC will die just like a bad SNL sketch.

        • NBC's content is a piss in the bucket of the better stuff out there. the BBC produces a lot, as well as a lot of other smaller players. Honestly, content without a big conglomo is right around the corner... NBC will die just like a bad SNL sketch.

          Unless, of course, a big conglomerate is allowed to produce content (owns NBC) and also owns the only way to get content (data pipes). It's about leveraging a monopoly (often a localized one) to prevent the free market from acting in the content market.

  • But it's pretty hard to see how "media" companies can't see that the future is in web streaming and TV programming with was the norm from the 1930's-2008 is just not the future. It's plain to see that that is not what consumers want, regardless it may be harder to push a new show, but I don't have cable and I have found many new shows using the "what's popular" on Hulu. Not that Hulu is the answer but it's a better direction then the Live TV or even TEVO type model. And remember that the "networks" fought h
  • How about NOT approving the Comcast and NBC merger?

    How much media content should a single corporation own? What if that corporation also is one of the largest cable providers in the US? What if that corporation has a startup service named Xfinity that competes with other streaming services?

    These rhetorical questions should serve as red flags that maybe we should not allow Comcast to own NBC. Anyway when was the last time a pre-merger condition from a government agency was honored and actually benefitted t

  • We need a new phrase... media neutrality?

  • Level 3 made a deal with Netflix, so Level 3 amped up their own bandwidth and servers to push out Netflix content. Comcast felt their agreement with Level 3 to pass traffic for Level 3 was being abused. So rather than throttling all Level 3 traffic, Comcast decided to block only their competitor, Netflix who they feel is a threat to their business, to temporarily "balance" their traffic passing agreement with Level 3, unless Level 3 pays more to Comcast.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Level 3 made a deal with Netflix, so Level 3 amped up their own bandwidth and servers to push out Netflix content. Comcast felt their agreement with Level 3 to pass traffic for Level 3 was being abused. So rather than throttling all Level 3 traffic, Comcast decided to block only their competitor, Netflix who they feel is a threat to their business, to temporarily "balance" their traffic passing agreement with Level 3, unless Level 3 pays more to Comcast.

      Umm , not exactly.

      Comcast and L3 have a peering agreement between them that regulates the price of bandwidth used back and forth. If it were a matter of usage only, there would be no problem, as L3 has stated , and as proven by prior suits from L3 against other companies for not honoring the peering agreement charges. This is because Comcast wants to drive prices up on Netflix and other online providers as a base to have a foot in the price war for their own upcoming streaming content solution. They expect

      • Sorry, but don't confuse me for an idiot; I more simply said what you stated and I prefaced it with "In a Nut Shell." I was simply laying out Comcast's "argument" and what they did to "fix" it. I did mention that Comcast wants to charge more for Netflix content, in a way. I did not elaborate on who ultimately will pay the additional cost or that Comcast will "conveniently" offer "cheaper," alternative content.

        I do not support the purchasing of NBC/Universal by Comcast. Don't be fooled it's not a merger;

  • I get it all in HD and without commercials via bittorrent...

    Until they stop being idiots and assholes, I'll stick with the content delivery that I trust.

    and yes I PAY for a private tracker group that has no MPAA or industry lackeys in it. I'd PAY them for the files, but NBC, COmcast and everyone else is not interest in selling them to me. Give me non DRM standard 720p mpeg4 files and I'll give you $1.00 an episode. force DRM on me then I'll look elsewhere as I want to use MY playback system not your cr

    • So rather than doing without and supporting independent media with your wallet, you're perpetuating the consumption. BraVO to you.

  • Accept No Substitute for Real Net Neutrality

    Sign the petition. [freepress.net]
  • "Comcast has been resisting federal regulators' efforts to tear down some of those walls, arguing that those efforts are unnecessary because NBC Universal accounts for about 10 percent of television viewing in the US and less than 10 percent of US box office revenue — and is therefore too small to dictate how the industry will develop."

    This is one of the goddamdest disingenuous statements I've heard in a while. If a Comcast spokesperson said this to my face, I would have to be held back from beating t

  • In the late 1940s the government (through anti-trust action) forced the movie studios to sell off their theater chains and end the practice of forcing theaters to buy (and exhibit) an entire package of films just to get the one film they actually wanted to get.

    The government needs to do the same again and break up the vertical content companies, ban content producers from requring cable operators to buy (or sell/bundle) one channel when they want another channel (e.g. where Disney might say that Comcast has

  • "It won't be long before video from the Internet is always within reach."

    I am so confused. Why is a huge leap in comprehension required to go from a typical computer monitor with a diagonal increases of 17-24'' to a standard TV with a diagonal of 35-50'' or more? It is the same LCD based technology. It is not a different type of tool. It does not require a separate cultural upbringing or years of additional technical training to understand the other once you understand one.

    Your college age movie wa

  • Is it just me, or is there no one on slashdot who actually *has* cable tv? Everytime I see anything related to comcast or other networks, I usually take it for a given that there'll be a liberal amount of comments that are just rehashes of "Between the individual network sites, hulu, and netflix, I haven't missed a thing (other than a lot of commercials) by not having cable for the last couple years."
    • by Tacvek (948259)

      Many of us who have Cable TV (or some other equivalent, like Satellite, FIOS, or U-Verse) just don't have that much to say about them. I for one have yet to really investigate Netflix's offerings, but hulu and the network sites don't really cut it for me, since they still lack some shows I follow.

      (By the way, there is no reason to ever navigate directly to a network's site, since Hulu's search will direct you to them if they have the show and Hulu does not.)

  • by chord.wav (599850) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @08:33AM (#34544930) Journal

    But what if there's nothing worth watching?

    OMG!! Do you mean we would have to.... read!!?!?

  • You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means... At least since around 1995.

  • > "whether customers can someday realistically drop their cable subscriptions and go online-only for their TV"

    Um...what? Someday? I've been doing this for 3 years now, and before that my roommate had it, not I. I can't fathom how or why anyone would ever pay the exorbitant prices for cable television! Seriously...do people think they NEED TV that much? That's just sad... Then again, this is the U.S. we're talking about, where the government had to pay people just so that they wouldn't lose their pr

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