Back in February, my employer, Time Warner, announced the completion of its spinoff of Time Warner Cable, the country’s second-biggest cable system operator. Said Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes at the time:
We’re confident that this separation will benefit Time Warner and Time Warner Cable stockholders. Both companies will be better positioned to compete, with capital structures more suited to their respective needs as well as greater operational, financial and strategic flexibility. At the remaining Time Warner businesses, we’ll stay focused on what we do best—creating, packaging and distributing our branded, high-quality content.
Today, Comcast, the nation’s biggest cable system operator, announced that it was buying NBC Universal, a producer and distributor of branded content. Said CEO Brian Roberts:
This deal is a perfect fit for Comcast and will allow us to become a leader in the development and distribution of multiplatform ‘anytime, anywhere’ media that American consumers are demanding. In particular, NBCU’s fast-growing, highly profitable cable networks are a great complement to our industry-leading distribution business.
Okay, they can’t both be right. Somebody’s clearly following the wrong strategy here. Anybody want to take bets on which one?