Housing Complex

Big Bear Cuts Ad for Gigantic Cable Merger

Bloomingdale newshound Scott Roberts caught one of the stranger juxtapositions ever to grace a commercial break: An ad for Comcast's $30 billion acquisition of NBC Universal filmed in that indy-est of independent coffee shops, the Big Bear Cafe. Public interest groups have decried the deal as anticompetitive, and D.C.'s own Albritton Communications has been the most vociferous of the smaller networks in opposing Comcast's expansion. The T.V. spot, complete with some perfectly-done crema, seems like an attempt to win over the public while the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission review the merger. What better way to do that than reach out to the latte-sipping, laptop-tapping Big Bear demographic?

As for owner Stu Davenport, it's got to be an easier way to make extra cash than getting a liquor license.

  • Really?comcast?

    I work on this issue and as far as I am concerned BB might as well have done a commercial for Darth Vadar, censorship and increased cable prices for all. Of the over 100 mil this terrible company spent so far to try to get this stupid idea green-lighted by buying off representatives I think it's just insane that they would imply anything good would come from their increased control of the media marketplace in an environment of so little accountability and so little competition. You remember that Comcast unilaterally blocked all bit torrent files and then lied about it and then sued the government to diminish it's role as a protector of the public. You can read all about it at savetheinternet.com
    Just around the corner, if this merger goes through, we can expect data caps and tiered pricing...and all tha magical stuff that was floating up in the air of your commercial will be not the movies we want, but innovation, freedom and equal speech disappearing in the air. Don't expect to offer free wireless at bb in that environment, it will cost you more than your monthly coffee bill!

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    i say big ups for stu for getting paid where he can.

  • Rick Mangus

    Waiting for FiOS in DC!

  • Nolan

    I'm not pro-merger, but the idea that Stu or Big Bear is in bed with Comcast/Universal is kind of ridiculous (although, yes, it's possible that it is true - however unlikely).

    Should Stu not sell coffee to anyone he disagrees with? I'm sure he would have happily rented BBC to Greenpeace or FreePress or whoever else were paying him in legal tender.

    If you really want to stop the merger, counting on cafe owners who provide the set for pro-merger commercials is a really, really shitty strategy for doing that.

  • Really?comcast?

    Thanks for reminding me of the check.
    Is every fucking thing a transaction?
    So is it weird that I would think that a "cool" coffee shop would want to be, I don't know, cool?
    Look at their beautiful comcastic latte!

  • Idrinktea

    OMFG. At least one person on this thread needs to drink less coffee and chill the f#$* out. Running a coffee shop isn't FOX News or BP. The dude is trying to make it selling coffee and over priced croissants to hipsters. Renting his spot to the cable company for a TV ad isn't evil.

  • The Commish

    Well there you go...BBC and Stu looking for any dollar they can get!