• Will The Comcast Deal with NBC Hurt Apple?

    While the entertainment world goes gaga for the mega deal between NBC and Comcast, some are starting to realize that there may be an unlikely casualty of the partnership: Apple.

    This week, General Electric Company announced it had reached an agreement to sell NBC Universal to Comcast, the largest cable operator in the U.S. The $13.75 billion deal would give Comcast 51 percent ownership of NBC Universal, which was valued at $30 billion total per the terms of the agreement.
    For months Apple has been thought to be developing a subscription plan for shows on iTunes. Comcast's purchase of NBC could effectively end any hopes Apple has of similarly teaming with the peacock network, a once-likely major broadcast partner for Cupertino's ambitious plan.

    Last month on ModMyi, I covered the emergent talk of everything from Apple lunching its own cable TV network to a proposed $30-per-month subscription plan to air a variety of content and television programming. At the time, it wasn't thought that Apple's intentions were pinned to a particular piece of hardware. Instead, it seemed Apple would probably integrate subscriptions with the existing iTunes desktop software.

    According to Apple Insider:

    Some believe that a new Comcast-owned NBC, however, would be unlikely to participate in an "all-you-can-eat" subscription plan. Wall Street analysts with Piper Jaffray have long predicted that Apple will attempt to secure the rights to a subscription TV deal eventually. But analysts told Apple Insider that they believe a Comcast-NBC merger would make an iTunes subscription with NBC content less likely.
    A widening pool of industry analysts appear to be reaching the consensus that Apple would simply be wasting its time if the folks in Cupertino even broach the subject of a "content-related deal." So where else can Apple turn? A deal with Disney and ABC doesn't remain out of the question, but with the nature of content distribution potentially changing forever in the wake of the Comcast-NBC partnership, it's possible that Apple will have to put their subscription service plan on hold for now... assuming that there ever was a plan to begin with.

    The same sentiment was echoed by analyst Colin Dixon, of Diffusion Group, to Investor's Business Daily. If Apple comes to a Comcast-owned NBC looking for a content-related deal, he believes "they'll just say no. "In other words, this could present a potential scenario where Apple could offer a subscription TV deal lacking one of the four big U.S. broadcast networks. And still, there is no guarantee that CBS, Fox and even ABC are willing to deal.
    Image via CNBC
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