In a move that could have ramifications throughout the industry, Comcast Corp is said to be negotiating a takeover of NBC Universal, which would give the cable giant control over NBCU’s vast library of film and TV content.
As a huge VOD content provider, the acquisition could give Comcast the ability to offer NBC Universal films through its On Demand service at a premium before they are released on DVD.
“It’s a potential game changer that could completely upset the traditional windowing position of the studios, if Comcast were to decide to get very aggressive in releasing new movies and TV shows in a variety of ways,” said Tom Adams of Adams Media Research.
Comcast shareholders are evidently jittery about the potential move; Comcast shares promptly dropped when news of the deal began to emerge on Thursday. A similar attempt by the company to acquire Walt Disney Co. in 2004 was very unpopular with investors and eventually fell through.
If Comcast were to own a major studio’s content, it would give them the ability to price it how they saw fit and control when it is released on VOD and disc. Such a scenario could throw a wrench into the business models of other content providers, including Redbox. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this, Insiders. Let us know what you think in the comments.