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Three ways the Comcast-NBC merger could change television

As Americans' media habits shift toward the Internet, cable companies are being marginalized. The potential Comcast-NBC Universal deal is Comcast's bid to remain relevant.

The Comcast logo is displayed on a TV set.

Elise Amendola/AP/File

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A pending merger between cable giant Comcast and NBC Universal is a sign that media providers like Comcast are moving toward a new business model that gives them authority over content – a development that is expected to change how viewers will watch their favorite TV shows and movies in the future.

The merger hangs on negotiations between NBC parent company General Electric and French telecommunications company Vivendi. The two sides are trying to reach an agreement on whether GE buys back Vivendi’s minority stake in the company, according to Forbes. If the deal goes through, the agreement between both companies is expected no later than Dec. 10.

The deal would give Comcast control of several cable networks (such as CNBC, Bravo, and the USA Network), a leading Hollywood movie studio (Universal Pictures), and a major broadcast television network (NBC).

If pushed through, consumers will see several effects:

More content, fewer subscriptions. Since NBC Universal owns the leading online video site (Hulu) and Comcast owns the third largest (Fancast), a merger would mean a boost in content, fueling this new platform for how users access shows or movies.


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