Comcast to hold 51% stake in NBC Universal

By on December 2, 2009, 6:30 PM
NBC Universal has reportedly reached a deal with General Electric and Comcast that will give the latter a majority stake in the media company. In the agreement, NBCU would be 51% owned by Comcast and 49% by GE. Currently, NBCU is 80% owned by GE (valued at $30 billion) and 20% by Vivendi (valued at $5.8 billion).

Paperwork is expected to be complete Thursday morning, and a formal announcement should come shortly after. The companies are supposedly waiting for Vivendi to sign over its 20% stake. Naturally, the transaction is still subject to the usual closing procedures, including approval from the Federal Communications Commission, and could take more than a year to close.

With the deal, Comcast would be one of the nation's largest entertainment companies, rivaling its former acquisition target The Walt Disney Co.

User Comments: 17

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Basher said:

I see some sort of an antitrust lawsuit in Comcast's future... with the other companies they are trying to take hold of, eg. Hulu, someone is going to start complaining.

Moltar said:

I hate Comcast to begin with. I wonder what they are going to do with NBC? I see the FCC bringing the pain down on Comcast in the very near future.

Puiu Puiu said:

@Basher: Since they aren't the leader of the market i don't think we'll ses any lawsuit anytime soon.

But the i never thought Comcast had the money to make such a big acquisition. It just goes to show how much profit big companies are making and how little they give back to consumers.

tengeta tengeta said:

I'd complain, but I've never been a big NBC fan to begin with. My guess is they just produce more crap.

LightHeart said:

I think this is happening because the whole media landscape is changing. Print media is being reduced and TV is moving from broadcast, cable, satellite, to internet. Comcast doesn't just want to be an ISP (not enough money) so they are gaining a 51% share of a large network so they can remain an active player.

BlackIrish said:

Lol, GE owned NBC... that's an even stranger acquisition than this Comcast-NBS thing!

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I guess this mean that the Comcast customers will be seeing bill increases to pay for this deal. Wonderful, just wonderful. Maybe concast should focus on improving quality, reducing costs and improving their customer service before paying for a deal like this.

swilllx2p said:

I've never had comcast(thankfully), but havn't they been doing some really crappy things to there internet customers as of late? Seems like all I've read about from Comcast doesn't really paint a pretty picture of them as a company.

Chazz said:

And the cable companies are trying to cap the internet because they aren't making enough money? What do they want to make trillions?

Skout said:

The most effective way of showing your dismay with Comcast is to not do business with them. For some, there are little alternatives, but get out if and when you can. Adding more resources to their bad business measures isn't going to make anything better for their customers - and it will only get costlier!

jjbeard926 said:

Does anyone else see this as an anti-trust violation? I don't like this move at all.

windmill007 said:

Comcast Sucks and now so does NBC! And I use to like them..NBC that is.

buttus said:

I think this is a smart move to merge creative content with a delivery/distribution method. It is also the same model with multi-media companies owning sports franchises to both have the product and distribute it to the public. Just ask Ted Turner if it works for him.

insect said:

I see the FCC getting on Comcast only if they shut off NBC and related services (i.e., Hulu, 50% of TV channels, etc.) to non-Comcast customers like me. Although I don't watch much of NBC, I do watch a lot of their related channels (Syfy, USA, Weather Channel, History, etc. [Basically, 50% of TV]).

I think there would be a HUGE riot if non-Comcast customers lost their favorite TV channels, but I also think it would be dumb for Comcast to cut those people off because of the ad-revenue they would lose, although a lot of TV-addicts would probably take the bait when they see an ad that says "Recently lost NBC which has your favorite shows? Switch to Comcast today and get them all back and more!" which would also generate a lot of revenue, plus the ad revenue.

AbsolutGaloot said:

There's going to be some major conflict of interest when the content provider owns a majority share in the content producer. I can see this leading to "you only produce [popular show or whatever] for our distribution and nowhere else". I know that there are exclusives for networks, but usually there is some sort of deal where the producer of the content gets a say in what network ends up with the distribution rights.

wcbert said:

Was not Comcast the cable company that limit internet access? I guess NBC TV will in the future have no longer be free TV with this company's mindset.

levar said:

Comcast is gonna crush NBC like a bug! We are probably gonna see paid content- all it takes is time.

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