Archive for the ‘Broadcast News’ Category


With the Comcast and NBC Universal merger coming close to being a done deal, there are many opinions in the media world that are being offered. The merger could allow Comcast to have a stranglehold on issues such as net neutrality, retransmission fees and TVEverywhere. There are many restrictions being talked about among the media that the Federal Communication Committee and the U.S. Justice Department should enforce. In Alex Weprin’s article for TVNewser, he presents two opposing arguments by the New York Times and Broadcasting and Cable.

B&C want the deal to get done so, they can start taking advantage of their merger and reveal to the public what the change will end up as in the future. The New York Times feel differently though. They would rather the FCC and DOJ take its time and ensure that the potentially overpowering deal has all the restrictions it needs to prevent Comcast and NBCU from having too much control.

There are so many issues on the table for this deal that can affect companies from several different markets in the media realm. The new company could control online innovation, eliminate new competition, monopolize other cable and internet rivals and raise broadband subscriptions. This merger could be the most detrimental move since the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Cross-ownership advocates or adversaries could have a lot more fire for the hotly contested topic.

I think this deal could cause more harm than good, since these two companies have so much power by themselves in their respective broadcaster and cable provider roles. Many of the changes that could occur from this merger don’t seem to favor the consumer. But, like the rest of the media world, bystanders will have to wait at see what the future holds for Comcast and NBCU’s competitors and subscribers.

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Before the internet and 24-hour news networks, broadcast news was a major source of information for millions of Americans. Morning newspapers provided people with news from the previous day and the 6 o’clock news programs caught them up on what happened while everyone was at work. In the 21st century, many Americans maintain jobs that don’t allow them to watch shows such as NBC’s “Nightly News”, ABC’s “World News” or the “CBS Evening News.” Fortunately, present day technology allows viewers to record television with ease, eliminating the immediacy past generations dealt with.

Despite the availability of news at all hours of the day, millions of viewers still follow local news programs regardless of their daily habits. The success of digital video recorders(DVRs) has helped nightly news programs maintain their audience and according to the New York Times article, shows such as NBC’s “Nightly News” are finally starting to acknowledge the help DVRs provide. The several hundred thousand viewers that record these programs are exhibiting more effort to consistently watch than viewers that happen to be watching TV while the show is aired. This current capability available to news viewers may be one of the main reasons network evening news programs still have such a larger audience than cable news. With a rapid decline in broadcast primetime news and a gradual incline in cable primetime news, broadcast still has 82 percent more viewers than cable does. A majority of their audience is adults over 50 that have been watching the evening news for most of their life. Younger viewers are getting in the habit of recording and watching broadcast news as well, which could help continue the culture that has kept these programs in the forefront of television news.

Technology has allowed television to stand still and be timeless all at the same time. Americans can never be too busy to catch a newscast as long as they set their DVR. Now that broadcast programs are accepting the opportunities that are available because of this technology, producers can begin to gear advertisements towards these specific viewers and embrace the new possibilities that today offers.