Comcast: Netflix Has More Viewers Than Us, So Our Merger is Fine
To get their merger approved, Comcast has brushed aside anti-competitive concerns by claiming that effectively everybody from Hulu (which Comcast owns) to Google Fiber (whose footprint is too small to provide meaningful competition) will provide a competitive counter-balance and keep Comcast in check. While invalid, Comcast doesn't appear to want to stop using apples to orange comparisons to try and make that same point. Their latest argument is that because Netflix technically has more video customers than Comcast
, the Comcast deal is sure to be just fine:
Comcast continues to paint Netflix as a competitor, as the cable giant keeps trying to make the case that it needs to swallow Time Warner Cable to have a presence on a national scale – and compete with what it portrays as surging digital-video rivals. Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts, speaking on a panel at the Cable Show, said that with the TW Cable acquisition and subsequent spinoff of systems to Charter Communications, Comcast will add a net 7 million customers. That would give Comcast about 30 million video subscribers — and Roberts noted that Netflix now has more than 35 million U.S. subscribers.
Except Netflix's rotating and inconsistent crop of older content isn't really a direct competitor to cable because broadcast and cable work tirelessly to ensure it can't be via usage caps and licensing restrictions.