Digital Home: NBC Universal’s Gaspin Is Wary of TV Cannibals

Jeff Gaspin (horizontal)

Whether it’s Google (NSDQ: GOOG) TV or FilmOn, NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin is maintaining a watchful eye on keeping his channels off any platforms where his company can’t monetize.

As for NBCU’s decision to keep NBC (and Hulu, in which the company has a stake) off of Google TV, Gaspin told interviewer Staci D. Kramer, editor of ContentNext Media, there’s an added threat when it comes to taking IP-delivered streams and migrating it to TV. “It’s one thing to stream your content online,” he said. “But once you take the content to the television, the risk of cannibalization of the original feed you get paid the most for…then we really have to sit back and take notice.”

Gaspin declined to put a timeline on when a deal with Google TV would be struck. He took an even dimmer view to upstarts like FilmOn and IVI, which have been streaming broadcast signals online for a subscription fee. “As far as we’re concerned, it’s plain and simple: it’s illegal, they’re stealing our content and we are dealing with it as you would deal with a situation like that. We filed suit, and we’ll need the courts to help us stop it.”

Gaspin mentioned that cord-cutting is not a big concern for him, though he continues to monitor. “I don’t think anyone has real evidence of cord-cutting. We have to be careful of services that are cannibalistic to our other services. Authentication we think is a real way to maintain the value.”

Gaspin stayed mum on where he may sit in a reshuffled version of NBC Universal management once the Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) acquisition is approved. “I’m not going to speculate on all the speculation. It’s not fair to any of the players involved. the deal will close soon and there will be plenty of announcements before that.”

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