Comcast’s is in full defense mode pushing for their merger with Time Warner Cable. Speaking at a panel recently Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts points out that Netflix has 35 million subscribers but Comcast after the merger will only have 30 million.
Comcast new push clearly misses the main issue with their merger. Their clear dominance would allow them to control the flow of content to services like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. Comcast owns NBCUniversal and also has the ability to put limitations on when content from cable networks can be put online and how much of it they can post.
“In the evolving video marketplace in which these companies have thrived, there is no reason why a cable company should be limited in evolving as well, especially one that has time and again demonstrated its willingness to meet and enhance competition through innovation and investment,” Comcast said in their FCC filing. “Added scale will make that innovation go faster and that investment go farther.”
The idea that a merger like this will bring innovation to Comcast customers ignores that it will kill competition. Only from competition is there a need to be innovative and push the limits of what is offered. Sadly what we are seeing from cable companies is not a desire to be innovative but a desire to lock down content in a last ditch effort to stop the flow of customers canceling the cable TV.
The Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger is not about number of subscribers but about being able to control content deals. With this deal Comcast will be able to dictate terms to many small content creators by threatening to cut them off from a vast number of American viewers.