No, Universal isn't buying Warner Bros.
Written by Robert Niles
Theme parks fans are buzzing about a proposed deal between NBCUniversal parent Comcast and Time Warner Cable. But let's slow down and pay some extra attention to that last word.Tweet
Comcast has made an offer to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in stock. That's Time Warner Cable, not Time Warner the entertainment conglomerate.
What's the difference, you ask? Time Warner Cable used to be the cable television subscription arm of Time Warner, but the parent company spun off its cable operations in 2009, and today Time Warner Cable is just another company, one using the "Time Warner" name under license from its former parent. (For another, theme park-related example, the Busch Gardens theme parks are using the "Busch" name under license from their former owners at Anheuser-Busch InBev. Today, they're owned by the independent company SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.)
If/when Comcast gets ahold of Time Warner Cable, it'll be buying just several million cable subscribers around the country, not any of the IP [intellectual property] that former parent company Time Warner owns. That means no DC Comics characters or other Warner Bros. properties are coming under NBCUniversal's control under this proposed deal.
Obviously, Comcast thinks it the deal puts the company in a stronger long-term position, or it wouldn't have made the offer. Who knows what Comcast might do in that stronger position? For now, though, that's just speculation. (Of course, we theme park fans excel at that, don't we?)
Nevertheless, when other fans get excited about Universal theme parks getting the right to Batman and Superman, tell 'em that's not the deal that's happening. Universal isn't buying Warner Bros. Just another cable company.
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