PHILADELPHIA. Last week’s mega-deal between Comcast and NBC Universal was a huge move for the cable giant, but will it mean lower cable bills, an eradication of some local NBC stations, or even more programs produced in Philadelphia?
Customers should not expect a major price shift, according to one cable industry expert.
“It may cause the price increases to moderate, but I don’t think we’re going to see a massive rollback in prices,” said Don Heller, assistant dean of Temple’s School of Communications and Theatre, who spent 20 years in the cable industry, including time as the head of PRISM. “I think what will drive prices is the cost of producing content and also the number of ways that you can produce content.”
And while NBC owns some successful cable networks, such as USA, Comcast must now deal with 10 struggling broadcast stations in different parts of the country, including Philadelphia’s NBC10.
Heller said the stations shouldn’t be in danger, but might see changes in their business model that now relies on advertising.
“Their business model doesn’t work as well, so the question is can they cut down on their content costs to be able to continue to function or can they add a subscription base to their model?” Heller said.
Because the deal would join two large media companies, it will receive a lengthy review from the Federal Communications Commission and possibly the Justice Department.