Increasingly, media moguls, national journalists and Wall Street experts are predicting that cable provider Comcast's acquisition of NBC will lead to the end of free broadcast television. Numerous outlets have reported that Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox News Channel's parent company NewsCorp, is actively pushing to end the long-time television business model where advertising dollars pay for programming. Murdoch has said that his television properties cannot afford to continue offering free programming to viewers. Currently, local stations are offered to cable and satellite TV subscribers as "free," but this could change as networks are acquired by cable companies. Associated Press media reporter Andrew Vanacore says, "The business model is unraveling at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and the local stations that carry the networks' programming ... Cable TV and the Web have fractured the audience for free TV and siphoned its ad dollars. The recession has squeezed advertising further, forcing broadcasters to accelerate their push for new revenue to pay for programming."
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