Eating each other’s lunch

Earnings reports are out for some media companies, and I’m talking about it on CBS radio today. My main point: the quality of earnings is pretty stinky. Beating the street through cost cutting isn’t a model for sustainability. comcast-nbc-logos-320

Meanwhile, the dog fighting continues as media companies try to eat each other’s lunch which brings me to the whole NBC/Comcast thing – which is of great concern to local affiliates like KING.

NBC Affiliates board chair Michael Fiorile, who was my boss for several years and who also runs two of the best NBC affiliates in the country, is speaking out about the local’s concerns about the NBC/Comcast deal.

The locals are worried about Comcast sucking all the good NBC programming onto Comcast-owned cable channels, leaking fresh programming to Comcast VOD and web platforms before the shows have even aired on the affiliate, and the big one – the affiliates bargaining power when it comes to retransmission fees.

So NBC affiliates have issues – and so do non-affiliates in markets where NBC has O&O stations – where the fear is that the merger of the O&O and the dominant provider will screw them over with channel reassignments and all kinds of other anti-trust terrorism.

Hearings start this week on this mess – with affiliate groups of all flavors expressing major concerns, and the industry’s lobbying group, NAB, remaining silent because there are SO many angles on this thing.

The bottom line is that a bunch of dying business models are fighting over the bones of the past. Content will have to be paid for, but who gets paid, and how is the big question.

Meanwhile, the wireless industry is making a grab for broadcast spectrum where he argument for allowing OTA broadcasters to keep it all is getting harder and harder to make.

Next time – mixing the broadcast and cable cultures and how VASTLY different they are.