In Depth: Why a Comcast/NBC deal could be bad news for Bill O’Reilly…

It’s way too early to be considering NBC’s life in a post-GE world since a prospective deal with Comcast is nowhere near being finalized. But if it should happen one area it will have a significant impact is on the 8pm talking head battle between Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann…

In looking at the long running saga of “the feud” you could divide it into four chapters:

1) Chapter One: Olbermann beats up on O’Reilly
2) Chapter Two: O’Reilly flails around lamely trying to fight back
3) Chapter Three: O’Reilly finally manages to land blows by attacking GE to the point that GE tries to muzzle Olbermann and stop the feud.
4) Chapter Four: Brian Stelter exposes the deal and Olbermann resumes attacking O’Reilly and O’Reilly resumes attacking GE.

The key chapter in this saga is Chapter 3; O’Reilly’s counter-fire on GE had its desired effect. But a GE spinoff of NBC, where Comcast has majority control, changes the equation. O’Reilly could keep on beating up on GE but GE no longer would have control over Olbermann. That leaves Comcast, and therein lies O’Reilly’s predicament.

Comcast isn’t GE. It doesn’t have fingers in “questionable overseas deals”. It doesn’t have “ties” to the Obama White House. Where’s O’Reilly going to get his ammo from to attack Comcast the way he attacked GE? Yeah, I suppose he could rail about “crappy cable service”, “a-la-carte broadcasting”, “net neutrality”, and other things pertaining to Comcast but that just won’t resonate with O’Reilly’s followers the way O’Reilly’s GE attacks did. GE was feeling real pressure in part because of O’Reilly’s attakcs. Would Comcast end up feeling similar pressure? I would tend to doubt it.

Don’t think this deal, if it goes through, is an automatic big win for Olbermann however. It may well turn out that Comcast won’t sit still for Olbermann’s (and others’) antics the way GE did. Heck, an NBC spinoff deal could result in the departure of Jeff Zucker. And, if that happened, that would really rock the News Division from the top to the bottom.

13 Responses to “In Depth: Why a Comcast/NBC deal could be bad news for Bill O’Reilly…”

  1. lurkerlou Says:

    BOR doesn’t get ratings for bashing GE. That’s like his pet/side project.

    I don’t even like watching the show when he goes into his GE rants and saying NBC News instead of really saying MSNBC.

    If it gets sold off completely maybe BOR can finally ignore Olby for good.

  2. chipsohio Says:

    Don’t think this deal, if it goes through, is an automatic big win for Olbermann however. It may well turn out that Comcast won’t sit still for Olbermann’s (and others’) antics the way GE did. Heck, an NBC spinoff deal could result in the departure of Jeff Zucker. And, if that happened, that would really rock the News Division from the top to the bottom.

    I believe the key question is what type of network will Comcast setup for NBC Universal? Will they want to change their news operations? Will Brian Roberts (Comcast CEO & Chairman) want to have divisive personalities on the network? Will Roberts want to change the “tone” of MSNBC?

    It’ll be interesting to see if this deal is signed what direction, if any, NBC/MSNBC goes.

  3. Bill O’Reilly’s counter-attack on NBC/MSNBC is, in his view, because those networks long ago stopped doing honest reporting. He’s gone after GE because, in his view, those networks’ parent company has effectively promoted that business model.

    If Comcast takes over those networks then the entire dynamic changes. Comcast is big but it’s no GE. I also think Comcast would be more likely to force their holdings to tone it down and play “nice”, and then O’Reilly would likely shut up about it because… well, he can claim a “win”.

  4. I think the deal would be the excuse Billo and KO need to quietly resume their truce, a deal Olbermann would be happy to have now that he has Glenn Beck to kick around. Someday soon, I predict O’Reilly is going to remember his days as The Enemy fondly.

    It reminds me of the Busch brothers in NASCAR. When Kurt Busch came along, the fans hated him and booed him every weekend. A couple years later, his even more obnoxious brother, Kyle, arrived…and the fans hated him even more. Nobody notices Kurt Busch anymore.

  5. Black Hats constantly change in NASCAR…

  6. He gets a racing reference from Spud. Score! Suck on it, baseball fans.

  7. – Score! Suck on it baseball fans –

    Celebrating with a hockey reference. How boot that, eh?

  8. Canadian.

  9. imnotblue Says:

    Touchdown!

    Sorry, I just wanted to part of the discussion.

  10. Goooooooooaaaaaaaal!!

  11. ^

    I started out and then always got stuck playing left-wing defence. Probably because I was one of the few who could skate (sort of) backwards back when I was a wee little tike.

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