Media and Money


Today, the Federal Communications Commission grants—with conditions and enforceable commitments approval of the assignment and transfer of control of broadcast, satellite, and other radio licenses from General Electric Company (GE) to Comcast Corporation. The approval will allow GE and Comcast to create a joint venture involving NBC Universal, Inc. (NBCU) and Comcast.

Some critics such as John Silver, President of the Free Press, are outraged at this merger saying:

You should be afraid and mad as hell.

The new Comcast will control an obscene number of media outlets, including the NBC broadcast network, numerous cable channels, two dozen local NBC and Telemundo stations, movie studios, online video portals, and the physical network that distributes that media content to millions of Americans through Internet and cable connections.

While even some politicians like Senator Al Franken are fighting against this push with a call to action:

This deal would mean higher cable rates and less freedom of choice for American consumers, and it would give a single media conglomerate unprecedented control over the flow of information in America. Whenever the same company owns both the content and the pipes delivering that content, consumers lose.

Already, we have seen that Comcast is not operating in good faith. By imposing a new fee on the company delivering Netflix’s online video streaming, Comcast is trying to kill off a competitor. Comcast has also refused to provide the FCC with documents necessary for the review process, and has already named the 43 executives who will take over NBC Universal.

As American consumers, we know a bad deal when we see one. Allowing this merger to proceed could lead to subsequent deals, leaving Americans at the mercy of a few powerful media conglomerates.

Sign Al Franken’s petition HERE!

Even Bloomberg has filed papers against the ruling stating the specifics:

Comcast is to pay GE $6.5 billion in cash and to contribute cable channels valued at $7.25 billion to a joint venture that will own the entertainment company. The joint venture is to include NBC Universal businesses and Comcast properties including E!, Versus and Golf Channel, the companies said in announcing the deal.

GE said in a statement today it expects about $8 billion in proceeds from the sale and a “small” after-tax gain when the transaction closes. The sale marks the end of more than two decades of ownership after GE acquired the NBC network in 1986 via its purchase of RCA Corp.

Paris-based Vivendi SA is to sell its 20 percent stake in NBC Universal as part of the deal.

Comcast was advised by Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with Davis Polk & Wardwell as legal counsel. GE was advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Weil, Gotshal & Manges acted as legal advisers.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has filed documents opposing the Comcast-NBC Universal combination as it was proposed.

by Georg Szalai from The Hollywood Reporter

Study: Comcast-NBC Universal Merger Will Cost Consumers $2.4 Billion
The American Cable Association unveiled an economic study Monday that argues that consumers over the next nine years will pay at least $2.4 billion more for pay TV services if regulators don’t place conditions on the planned Comcast-NBC Universal deal to curb the combined entertainment giant’s pricing power.

The organization, which represents small cable operators and has opposed the proposed merger – at least without conditions, said Monday that $204 million in estimated financial benefits from the deal claimed by the merger partners will be outweighed by “consumer harm” of the transaction of $2.566 billion.

Comcast in a statement called the analysis flawed and said the issues raised in the report have been examined by the FCC in  previous transactions. The commission “in each case rejected imposition of a condition on national cable networks,” it said. “There is no reason for the FCC to treat Comcast and NBCU worse than it treated Fox, DirecTV and Liberty [Media] in those recent deals.”

The ACA study, conducted by Dr. William Rogerson, professor of economics at Northwestern University, who served as the FCC’s chief economist 1998-1999, estimates vertical harm of the deal at $1.43 billion and the horizontal harm at $1.14 billion over the next nine years.

Vertical harm stems from the combination of programming assets and distribution, which will permit Comcast-NBC Uni to raise the fees it charges for programming to other distributors, including ACA members, such as RCN and WOW!

The horizontal effect stems from the merged firm’s control of key programming assets from both companies, which will allow it to negotiate prices for a broader portfolio, the group said.

“It is clear that the Comcast-NBCU deal will send monthly cable bills higher by billions of dollars over the next decade, underscoring ACA’s view that regulators must protect consumers and competition from a transaction whose benefits are vastly outweighed by its harms,” said ACA president and CEO Matthew Polka. “Without meaningful and cost effective conditions on the Comcast-NBCU transaction, regulators also run the risk of crippling effective competition in the pay-TV distribution market.”

Top 10 global brands based on media value
Which brands won the most valuable press in the third quarter?

Here are the top 10, according to General Sentiment.

(The list is based on mentions in traditional and new media outlets and the positive vs. negative sentiments of those mentions. Those mentions are assigned a dollar value, which are noted.)

1. Apple – $1,489,558

2. Google – $925,976

3. Microsoft – $625,672

4. Yahoo – $433,107

5. Hewlett-Packard – $260,723

6. Intel – $253,174

7. eBay – $156,819

8. Oracle – $155,113

9. Nokia – $137,630

10. Ford – $130,833

Now that fashion week in New York City has come to an end, it is interesting to note what really influences buying decisions when it comes to fashion and beauty brands. Despite the recession-which is allegedly over-people are still driven to buy products that make them look and feel good.

Nielsen conducted a global survey to basically find out what prompts consumers to stock their cabinets with make-up, fragrances and personal care items.

For 44% of global respondents, Read the rest of this entry »

Wow! Where did the time go?

I’ve taken a break from Media and Money to focus on Ella Bee PR and business has been great.

However, I can’t help but to research and continue to find ways to help businesses with social media marketing and PR.

So, I’m back this time for good to with some of your favorites like, Twitter Apps for Business, Twitter Ticker on who to follow and why, and who knows what else I might come up with.

Thanks for still tuning in, checking out my blog and stay tuned…there’s more to come!

By Affect Strategies

Foursquare is a location-based social networking platform that allows users to alert friends, in real-time, of their exact whereabouts using their mobile phone. The first official Foursquare Day will be recognized in more than 100 major cities across the world and encourages users to attend special Foursquare Day events at nearby participating locations. To celebrate this global social media holiday, Affect has highlighted five easy ways that businesses can use this valuable social networking tool to help their businesses increase brand awareness and drive demand for products and/or services to boost sales:

1. Create incentives for new customers – Even if you are not a restaurant or retail establishment, offering incentives using Foursquare can help to attract new customers to try your product or service. By offering a discount, free demo or complimentary tour to those who ‘check in’ to your company location, businesses can raise awareness, increase customer traffic and capture new business leads.

2. Give special treatment to the Mayor – Businesses can easily take advantage of the Foursquare users’ obsession to become the ‘Mayor’ of their favorite locations. Foursquare users can become the Mayor by being the person that has checked in to the same location the most. By offering special discounts or limited time free services to their location’s Mayor, businesses can encourage frequent visits to their establishment and encourage loyalty.

3. Offer promotions, contests and giveaways – One of the most effective ways to create a buzz around your brand on any platform is by offering free or discounted products or services through promotions, contests and giveaways. With Foursquare, implementing these marketing tactics becomes easy. Whether it’s offering a discount to anyone who checks in to your location on a particular day or awarding the first person to check in a free product or service, Foursquare allows companies to attract and reward new and existing customers.

4. Maximize the success of events – Having a Foursquare check-in at your company events can help to make them more successful and effective. Operating around the users’ locations, Foursquare is one of the few online networks that encourages offline engagement. Company sales and marketing teams can use this network to invite their online prospects to meet them face-to-face at a networking event or tradeshow. Additionally, a Foursquare check-in at an event allows attendees to connect in-person with other users that they follow online, providing an additional incentive to attend the event.

5. Marketing intelligence –
Foursquare recently announced a free analytics tool and dashboard that gives businesses access to a plethora of information and statistics about the customers that visit their locations. This information, such as who has checked in and what time they arrived, can provide businesses with valuable insight into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, allowing them to adjust their strategies accordingly.

By using Foursquare in these five simple ways, businesses can bridge the gap between online marketing and in-person engagement. The Foursquare phenomenon is only in its nascent stage and this social media platform is changing and will continue to change the way in which businesses market and promote their products and services.

On Thursday 25 March 2010, people in hundreds of cities around the world will come together offline to rally around the important cause of Education by hosting local events to have fun and create awareness. Twestival™ (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good. All of the local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects.

On 12 February 2009, the first Twestival Global was held in 202 international cities to support @charitywater, who we saw doing incredible work to help the almost 1 billion or 1 in 6 people in the world that don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water. Over 1,000 volunteers and 10,000 donors fundraised $250k+, which resulted in more than 55 wells in Uganda, Ethiopia and India having a direct impact for over 17,000 people.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAUSE AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED.

Online Advertise Here!

Contact Lila at EllaBeePR@gmail.com for advertising inquiries. 404-585-8549

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Media and Money- The Money Making Side of Media

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