Concerns about media consolidation come down to what person is really worthy to be a star TV executive
Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable are two cable industry leaders -- but they only represent around 20 million U.S. homes each. According to Nielsen Media Research, there are around 115 million U.S. television homes. No one has a real monopoly.
What people are really concerned about is not media consolidation, but media clout. We talk about expanding digital media and entertainment options all the time --- but real clout lies in the hands of a few.
A recent public hearing over the possible takeover by Comcast Corp. of NBC Universal had people worried about "diversity" and "access." Yes, NBC, even as a weak fourth-place network broadcaster, still has clout. And perhaps its growing array of cable networks has growing clout.
But TV/video options have been available for the masses for some time. You want to be a TV producer? You must be a philanthropist. Take your flip, your iPhone, your webcam, make a show and put it on your Web site, your Facebook page. Tell your friends, your neighbors. Maybe sign up with Google's Ad Sense and watch the pennies roll in.
Shouldn't that be enough? No. People have the need to become TV executives/producers, ones that make a living at it, maybe a really big living. It's about vanity --and getting paid along the way.
For on-the-bubble network TV producers, only the scale is different from the newbie. From networks executives they report to, big producers want more marketing, more attention for their projects, otherwise.... well, you know what happens.
TV networks don't offer too many big license fee deals for TV shows these days. So time's a wasting for many. Media companies are under financial stress, not making the 50% profit margins they did years ago.Is the Comcast deal with NBC a good one for the public? Maybe. Will they make shows I'll like -- or will they waste my time? Veteran TV producers can fail probably as much as any new producer.