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Glenn Halbrooks

Will Comcast Control Revitalize NBC?

By January 31, 2011

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Comcast, the nation's largest cable TV and Internet provider, has announced that it's now in control of NBC Universal. That puts a broadcast network in the hands of a cable TV company.

A picture of the NBC building in Burbank, California
Comcast now controls NBC Universal.
Photo © Xurble / Flickr
At least one critic says having Comcast in charge of NBC might not be a bad thing, given the peacock network's recent doldrums. Despite breakout hits like 30 Rock, the overall primetime lineup needs an overhaul to return NBC to the glory days of the 1980s and 1990s.

What's not clear is where NBC fits into Comcast's list of priorities. That's especially true when you consider that it's had success with its cable channels, such as E! and the Golf Channel, and is picking up everything from MSNBC to USA and Bravo.

The highly-segmented audiences of cable television are what Comcast knows best. Whether it's up for the challenge of running a broad appeal network like NBC as well as the local NBC owned-and-operated stations remains to be seen.

That's why you'll want to follow the moves of Comcast's Steve Burke, who is one of the 11 media people to watch in 2011. It won't be too early to look at NBC's fall 2011 primetime lineup to see his fingerprints as well as others from Comcast. Hopefully, they'll provide something fresh.


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