Posts for comcast

Comcast Is Probably Going to Drop Its Bid to Merge with Time Warner

Kyle Scott - April 23, 2015

Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia

Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia

From Bloomberg:

Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, after regulators planned to oppose the deal.

Comcast is planning to make a final decision on its plans Thursday, and a announcement on the deal’s fate may come as soon as Friday, said one of the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information.

Score one for the Republic:

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Related: Brian Roberts Explains Why Comcast is Just a Little Regional Company and Why Owning the World Would Be Good for Competition

The Eagles’ Skyline Draft Hat Is Missing the Comcast Center

Jim Adair - April 21, 2015

no comcast

This year’s NFL Draft hats feature each city’s skyline under the brim of the hat. They’ve already had some issues with the Jacksonville skyline (begging the question: Jacksonville has a skyline?), and the Eagles’ cap is missing Philly’s tallest tower.

As you can see in the image above, the skyline POV is roughly the same as this one (from the old South Street Bridge), but the Comcast Building is nowhere to be seen.

Was it modeled off of an old picture? Was it done on purpose because Comcast is pure evil (or for style reasons)? Is Comcast so mad? Who knows, but New Era certainly goes in the opposite direction of NBC10 here.

UPDATE: Love this theory:

Comcast’s Merger With Time Warner Might Not Get Approved

Kyle Scott - April 18, 2015

Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia

Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia

Great news for people who rooted against the Death Star in Star Wars. From Bloomberg (because getting this news from CNBC would be uncivilized):

Staff attorneys at the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block Comcast Corp.’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Attorneys who are investigating Comcast’s $45.2 billion proposal to create a nationwide cable giant are leaning against the merger out of concern that consumers would be harmed and could submit their review as soon as next week, said the people. The division’s senior officials will then decide whether to file a federal lawsuit seeking to block the tie-up.

I can’t imagine why anyone would take issue with a large conglomerate merging with one of its biggest competitors and forming a monopolistic behemoth that would strip tens of millions of customers of any alternative and give that company the ability to dictate terms for both content and its consumption.  Seems harmless enough to me.

Comcast’s side:

“There is no basis for a lawsuit to block the transaction,” said Sena Fitzmaurice, a Comcast spokeswoman. The merger “will result in significant consumer benefits — faster broadband speeds, access to a superior video experience, and more competition in business services resulting in billions of dollars of cost savings.”

And a $400 broadband bill that streams only programs produced by NBC Universal*:

Among regulators’ concerns is whether such a deal could choke new ways of delivering programming, according to one of the people. They have been focused on three areas: whether the combined entity would have too much control over nationwide broadband Internet delivery, whether a cable giant could use its financial influence to strike exclusive cable deals that could keep programming off of other platforms and whether it could limit how programming is delivered through video streaming services, the person said.

Poor Comcast. If this doesn’t go through, they might not be able to afford that second tower they’ll still definitely be able to afford that second tower.

*To be fair, about half of the stuff I watch on regular TV is produced in one way, shape or form by Comcast-NBC. 

Comcast Thinks They’re Apple with This Dumb Branding on Their Remote

Kyle Scott - February 17, 2015

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Pick up any Apple device you have and check the back: Designed by Apple in California. It’s a simple, and effective, slogan. [Google Glass-loving The Verge, painfully self-unaware, calls it “perhaps pompous.”] So of course Comcast – quite possibly the most hated company in the history of forever and all-time – figured they’d do the same with their generic-looking black plastic remote:

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Haha.

Behold the beauty that is Comcast’s selection of fine-looking push-button things at Xfinity.com/remotes:

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Simply gorgeous. Unapologetically black… and rubbery. The remotes, boiled down to their essence in a way that the design almost feels inevitable, if not revolutionary.

As Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey put it: “Comcast, next time you embarrass yourself, please leave Philadelphia out of it.” But with perhaps a third(!) skyscraper on the way, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon. Though the slogan should still work:

Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia

Designed by Comcast in Philadelphia

via Google Glass-loving The Verge

NBC 10 and 6 ABC Are Waging a Propaganda War Through Comcast Center Renderings

Kyle Scott - December 16, 2014

Actual Philly skyline

Actual Philly skyline

Since today is apparently the day where every columnist has some diagnosis for what’s eating Chip Kelly and the Eagles, and since I can’t even with that, let’s turn our attention to the fun and completely ridiculous propaganda war NBC 10 and 6 ABC are waging via their respective Comcast Center weather report renderings.

Wait, what?

Here is the model NBC uses for its backdrop during FIRST ALERT WEATHER ALL CAPS– notice anything odd?

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As you can see, Philadelphia is a cold, dark place, not unlike Gotham between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight rises. But there’s the (NBC parent company) Comcast Center, towering over the city like a shining beacon of inspiration keeping careful watch over this urban hellscape, where a river of tears (and probably oil) dares inhabitants to swin to greener pastures where entire swaths of cities aren’t rendered as rows of torn down sheetrock. The Comcast Center is not the hero Philly deserves, but it’s the one it needs. Oh and it’s also roughly a BILLION feet tall and dwarfs those other buildings, some of which are, in reality, just 130 feet or so shorter.

Meanwhile, over on 6 ABC, which is decidedly not owned by Comcast, the cable giant’s tower plays a much different role in the city’s skyline:

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Center City buildings and landmarks are rendered beautiful in full-color. Trees sprout from 12th Street in euphoric jubilation as though someone poured Herbel Essences all over their roots. Ohhhhhh yes! Yes! Yes! YES! There might be two Kimmel Centers. A wall of weeping row homes stand guard against an attack from the west or Wynewood. And then there’s the Comcast Center… the city’s Death Star, blackened and appearing as though it’s a poorly drawn shadow cast by the old Bell Atlantic Tower, Philly’s original thumb drive from before there were thumb drives.

It’s a tale of two cities on local news weather reports. In which do you live?

Comcast, the Company That Extorted Netflix into Paying for Faster Broadband, Complains Partners Are Extorting Them

Jim Adair - September 25, 2014

#455499544 / gettyimages.com

Comcast, the company that lords over you from their tower above Philadelphia and strives to make your life a nightmare, is sad. That’s because they’re claiming that their business partners and rivals are “extorting” them to try to get better deals in exchange for support in Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner. The New York Times even printed the world’s most obvious statement: “Comcast said many of the media and tech companies that have urged regulators to block or add conditions to the deal were doing so out of their own business interests.” How shocking.

Comcast claimed that “accusations from its rivals and business partners were spurious, typically coming after Comcast refused to ‘grant various self-interested requests’ made after the deal was announced.” That’s shady business — but business nonetheless — and a practice I’m sure Comcast is very familiar with. One of the main opponents of the merger (and main offenders of the claimed “extortion”) is Netflix, whom, if you remember, was extorted by Comcast to keep their speeds up.

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Remember that? [The dip represents the period of time just before Netflix started paying Comcast.]

More:

Comcast had accused Netflix of trying to shift its own costs to other companies. Netflix said on Wednesday that the merger was “clearly not ‘great’ for consumers” because of Comcast’s increased control over the market for high-speed residential Internet access. The company noted that it had “grudgingly” paid Comcast for better performance, a “precedent that remains damaging for consumers (who ultimately pay higher costs) and for other innovative businesses (that can be held over the barrel by Comcast to do the same).”

“It is not extortion to demand that Comcast provide its own customers the broadband speeds they’ve paid for so they can enjoy Netflix,” Jonathan Friedland, a Netflix spokesman, said in a statement. “It is extortion when Comcast fails to provide its own customers the broadband speed they’ve paid for unless Netflix also pays a ransom.”

The legitimate concern many of these companies have, however, is that if the merger goes through, and Comcast/Time Warner is the main provider in so many markets, they can charge customers and networks whatever they damn well please, because monopoly.

Discovery Communications said their concern is with Comcast’s ability “to impose onerous terms that jeopardize the ability of independent programmers like Discovery to continue investing in a diverse portfolio of content and brands.” And I think, in general, in a battle between the Discovery Channel and Comcast, I’m going to side with the Discovery Channel.

Comcast Would Love to Buy Your Support for Its Proposed Merger with Time Warner

Jim Adair - August 28, 2014

Comcast, Philadelphia’s very own Eye of Sauron, is busy not giving you customer service and trying to convince people that this whole Time Warner isn’t in fact a gigantic tidal wave of shit that only benefits those with a Comcast logo on their paychecks. And what is the best way to convince people that you’re the good guy and you’re on their side? A whole lot of dollars. According to National Journal, a number of groups that have come out in support of the merger have received large donations from the cable giant:

Nine United Way chapters, 12 Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters, 25 Boys & Girls Club chapters, and 14 Urban League chapters all filed comments urging the Federal Communications Commission to approve the merger of the nation’s two largest cable providers. Comcast is a major donor to all four organizations.

The company also received support from diversity groups such as the NAACP, the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, the Latin American Association, the National Congress of Black Women, the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, 100 Black Men of America, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

Many of the groups explicitly pointed to Comcast’s support (through corporate donations and employee volunteering) as the reason for supporting the deal.

To be fair to these groups, many of them do not seem to be advocating for Comcast’s great product and customer service and total non-monopoly, they’re just saying, “Hey, Comcast is nice to us, so if they expand to Time Warner’s territories, maybe non-profits there can benefit too.” But Comcast is citing those endorsements as the main reason why you should be totally fine with getting fucked. And it is here where National Journal (and I) would like to remind you that those who do not rely on Comcast for donations pretty much agree that this shouldn’t even be up for debate because holy shit they shouldn’t have even been allowed to buy NBCUniversal in the first place what the fuck is going on?

National Journal spoke to Matt Wood, policy director for advocacy group Free Press, who said that having the non-profits write letters of support is “good politics,” but he doesn’t know “how much they’ve analyzed the loss of innovation and competition that we think a merger would be certain to cause.” I know how much they’ve analyzed that, Matt: Not at all. But that is not their job. That is our job, and it’s not difficult.

F U, Comcast

Kyle Scott - August 25, 2014

Today, Comcast executive VP and quite possibly the worst person in the business world, David L. Cohen, wrote an open letter defending his company’s proposed merger with Time Warner, which would make them the largest communications-content company in the history of Earth. The letter itself is mostly bullshit, the kind of bullshit that’s gestated in a bath of lawyers, publicists and evildoers hell-bent on ruling the world. But I will call out for you a couple of points so rich in doublespeak that even George Orwell would’ve had trouble conceiving propaganda like this.

Cohen’s strongest argument is that many (MANY!) politicians support the merger:

Among the substantive comments that have been filed in support of the transaction already are those of the governors of Maryland (Martin O’Malley) and Pennsylvania (Tom Corbett) as well as support from the Democratic Governors Association. We are honored to have the support of a bipartisan group of more than 50 mayors, from coast to coast, including both Comcast and Time Warner Cable cities, with a combined population of over 9 million people and representing major cities such as Anaheim, Denver, Jacksonville, Miami, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, and Austin. We are especially gratified for the support of mayors and other local officials underscoring the powerful benefits of this transaction for their cities, constituents, and customers because they uniquely understand their local needs and the impact that the enhanced scale, investment, and innovation of Comcast will have on their local communities.

That’s great, but a random sample Google search (of the local people) shows exactly what you might expect. Oddly, the least offensive thing here may be Comcast’s fight against paid sick time:

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A major Pennsylvania Democratic donor has announced that he will back Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s bid for reelection in 2014, according to multiple state news outlets.

As first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen hosted a January fundraiser for Corbett at his Philadelphia home that helped net the governor $200,000 for his reelection campaign.

“I expect to support Gov Corbett,” Cohen told the Inquirer in an email message this week.

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At least 16 entities signed up as “platinum” sponsors, chipping in $25,000 apiece, according to a partial list released last week by O’Malley’s inaugural committee. They included Comcast, Marriott International and 1st Mariner Bank.

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 The biggest opponent of the bill is Philadelphia-based telecommunications giant Comcast. Almost all of the $108,429.25 Comcast spent on lobbying in 2011 was in opposition to paid sick days. It also is a major contributor to Mayor Nutter, contributing $7,500 to his campaign in 2011 and an additional $8,500 in 2012.

Really, it would’ve been best to stop reading there, because any argument that starts off with the arguer citing people ostensibly on its payroll is probably a shitty argument. It’d be like me saying the new Editor’s Commentary is great because Jim (who gets PTO, by the way) agrees that it is great (for realsies, it is great and we’re doing it again). Continue Reading

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