[eBrief]  Collision Point: Telecom and Entertainment

Two of the nation’s largest industries are headed directly toward each other, and the result of this impending collision could give a select group of companies oversight over all aspects of Americans’ content creation and consumption. It’s a slow-moving trend that could have dramatic ramifications for a wide range of players, from content providers to technology vendors.

The first tangible evidence of this shift happened seven years ago when cable giant Comcast purchased media behemoth NBCUniversal, a corporate structure that continues to give one of the nation’s largest pay TV providers direct insight into the ongoing evolution of the media landscape. But Comcast isn’t alone.

Today, AT&T stands to soon join Comcast at the intersection of telecom and entertainment if its pending acquisition of Time Warner is approved by regulators. That blockbuster transaction would combine one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies – with control over pay-TV, wireless and wired internet services – with one of the nation’s most well known media giants. Time Warner, after all, is the owner of HBO, the brand behind the massively popular show “Game of Thrones.”

And other companies may well enter this same nexus; already Verizon has been investing in media properties and advertising technologies, while Facebook has begun investing in both media content and telecommunications networks.

This Fierce eBrief will investigate this collision point from the perspective of Comcast and NBCUniversal (looking back on its performance so far) and from the perspective of AT&T and Time Warner (in terms of what they’re hoping for in the future).

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