Some of the greatest opposition to the NBC-Universal merger with Comcast may end up coming from NBC’s own affiliates.
Interesting read from the LA Times (via @tvspynews on Twitter): An affiliate representative wrote that local NBC stations are worried that Comcast would “gradually migrate some or all of the most compelling sports, news and entertainment programming and talent away from free, over-the-air distribution on NBC to its newly owned cable channels that are made available only to paying subscribers, such as Bravo and USA Network.”
For a network in as poor a shape as NBC right now (I say that as an NBC guy and an NBC affiliate pseudo-employee), I’m kinda surprised that affiliates would see any change as destructive. NBC has no programming right now, outside of The Office and 30 Rock, worth writing home about. It’s amazing its news division remains profitable, but the writing’s on the wall — it won’t remain that way.
There’s a school of thought that the major networks can no longer reasonably claim to be “Kings of the Hill” in the world of broadcast television, so perhaps Comcast ownership could help put NBC in its place relative to its cable properties.