[caption id="attachment_907" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Comcast-NBC"]Comcast NBC Merger[/caption]

The lines of division are even blurrier now, at least in terms of who will be providing your cable and Internet service in 2011. The FCC recently approved a Comcast-NBC merger, citing that it did not violate U.S. antitrust laws. So should you expect to see a change in your service when you come home one afternoon next week to watch a show in front of your TV lift cabinet? Probably not. What this merger means is that Comcast now has majority ownership of NBC and its media properties, which includes a piece of TV-streaming giant, Hulu.

The specifics of the merger are an agreement between Comcast and General Electric, which owns the majority of NBC Universal. The merger was approved by the FCC by a 4-1 vote, and Comcast will acquire 51% of NBC Universal for approximately $13.75 billion. This deal has been in the works for more than a year.

One of the major concerns over this deal before it was passed was to make sure it did not hinder or hamper the continuing growth of online video. The FCC ordered that the joint venture “must make available to online distributors (OVDs) the same package of broadcast and cable channels that it sells to traditional video programming distributors.” Additionally, the agreement is that the venture “must offer an OVD broadcast, cable and film content that is similar to, or better than, the content the distributor receives from any of the joint venture’s programming peers.”

Comcast agreed to these and seven other conditions doled out by the FCC and must adhere to them for seven years. All this means that even though the Comcast-NBC merger has created the single largest media conglomerate in the world, there is still room for competition, especially in the world of online video.

Comcast may see this success as an “about face” to their failed 2004 attempt to take over the Walt Disney Co. for an estimated $54 billion. So while Comcast doesn’t own Mickey Mouse or Tinker Bell (yet), it does now own SyFy, G4, E! Entertainment Television, Versus, USA Network, Telemundo, NBC News and NBC.

Where they will take all these channels and companies, no one really knows, but for now it should be “business as usual.” So sit back, turn on the tube and enjoy the show!