Who’s Afraid of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger?

Posted at 10:50 PM, May 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-04 22:52:10-04

Above, Brian Stelter speaks with Buzzfeed business editor Peter Lauria.


File Photo

ATLANTA – (CNN May 4, 2014) –  Two and a half months have passed since Comcast announced its plan to merge with Time Warner Cable. Here’s what Brian said on air:

Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which has lots of cable channels. When you talk privately with cable executives that own other channels – I’m talking about companies like Disney or Viacom or the parent of this network, Time Warner – they will tell you they hate the merger.

But those executives will not say that on the record. Netflix is an exception here. Its CEO, Reed Hastings, came out against the deal last month. And this week, the chief executive of Univision raised concerns as well. But that’s about it.

Here was the headline on the front page of Friday’s “New York Times” about this: “As Netflix Resists, Most Firms Just Try to Befriend Comcast.”

Then he introduced Lauria, who wrote a story last month titled “Why Big Media Won’t Stand Up To Comcast.” Lauria said:

“In a nutshell, it comes down to money. If you’re big media, and Comcast is paying you millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars each year to carry your programming, you kind of don’t want to bite the hand that pays you. So, that’s one of the reasons. There are a bunch of others – another being that, like, it takes someone with a special backbone to stand up to the bully in the schoolyard, right? And they’re trying to do this stuff off the record, behind the scenes.”