Here’s a post with some interesting stats on why Comcast purchasing NBC could make sense: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/FineOnMedia/archives/2009/10/does_comcast_se.html.
The growth of Hulu is particularly noteworthy. I’m a huge fan of the concept of Hulu, but I rarely use it myself. I find its user experience to be cluttered and annoying, particularly the way that video clips are mixed in with full episodes. I have no interest in clips – I can go to YouTube for those. If I’m going to Hulu, it’s because I want to watch a TV episode. But that, too, is a frustrating experience as shows are often only up for short periods of time. I want to control when I watch what I watch, and I’m happy to pay to do so (which is why I end up downloading a lot of episodes from iTunes).
I’m reading a great book right now called Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collidethat addresses some of these thoughts, particularly the conflict between corporations/marketers/advertisers that are used to controlling the relationship they have with consumers vs. the consumers who now have many more outlets to respond/comment/bootleg/interact with their entertainment via the Web. What’s clear is that the corporations/marketers/advertisers still aren’t getting it. But they are coming along, slowly.