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Businesses Television

Comcast to Buy 51% of NBC, GE Goes After 49% 258 258

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Comcast and General Electric announced a joint venture yesterday to control NBC Universal, with Comcast coming out with the controlling interest. Comcast's hopes seem to be on succeeding in a marriage of distribution and content, where Time Warner failed. "The deal was approved by the companies' boards, and is subject to regulatory approval. GE said it expects the deal to go through in the third quarter of 2010. Congress has already said it will hold a hearing to investigate whether Comcast will gain 'undue advantages' from the deal that gives it access to programming."
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Comcast to Buy 51% of NBC, GE Goes After 49%

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  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:19PM (#30327388)

    As a Time Warner customer, I look forward to losing NBC again this Summer as Time Warner tries to convince me that the evil NBC wants to charge me more money for my tv, and how Time Warner is either forced to raise my rates, or drop NBC coverage. Lame, lame, lame. AT&T, please extend your service about 10 more miles south.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:27PM (#30327508) Homepage Journal

    Originally NBC was owned by the now defunct RCA. NBC was founded essentially to make content so that RCA could sell more Radios and then Televisions and all the equipment needed to create a radio and tv station. So, not only did RCA own the pipe, they had actually owned the -hardware-. Eventually GE would buy RCA in the early 1980s for the sole purpose of getting NBC. They basically kept NBC, closed RCA, but sold the logo to the French. As an Ex-RCA Employee, I still curse Jack Welch but.... in those days, the merger of RCA and GE which should have been seen as troubling was almost irrelevant as both companies were still selling tubes in the age of the transistor and Sony was really stomping up a storm.

    Bottom line is, yeah, it will be a big company, but there's a lot of other media and a lot of other competition out there.

    [disclosure: I live in the Philly area and, having lost the World Series to the Yankees, the thought of the NBC HQ from NYC to Philly seems like it would be really sweet. They got the team, but we get the TV].

  • Terrible wording (Score:3, Informative)

    by maxume (22995) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:29PM (#30327542)

    GE currently owns a majority stake in NBC Universal (they needed to negotiate with the other owner, Vivendi, before they could proceed with this deal). Under the deal, a new company is being formed, with GE contributing NBC Universal and Comcast contributing some of their content assets and a bunch cash (or cash like assets). Comcast ends up with 51% ownership of the new company, and GE 49%.

  • Re:Also announced... (Score:2, Informative)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:30PM (#30327560) Journal

    Nope. FCC rules require all local stations and "out of market but significantly-viewed" stations be provided free-of-charge in the basic cable package.

  • Re:How can if fail? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:33PM (#30327586)
    Minor nitpick. AOL bought TW, then TW turned around a swallowed AOL. Big miscalculation on the part of Steve Case.
  • Re:In other news... (Score:3, Informative)

    by sunking2 (521698) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:35PM (#30327624)
    This is what is happening, without government intervention. GE is 5 times the size of Comcast revenue wise. NBC is a drop in the bucket for them.
  • Re:In other news... (Score:1, Informative)

    by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Friday December 04, 2009 @04:25PM (#30328280)

    Save your energy for when Comcast buys up Time Warner or one of the other similarly large content/delivery companies. Until then, this is business as usual.

    Comcast bought all of Time Warner's cable in Minnesota. Now I believe in the Twin Cities you have no choice. My entire childhood and young adulthood we had "King Video Cable" and "Paragon Cable" and they were loosely divided as Northern Metropolitan suburbs and Southern Metropolitan suburbs.

    Qwest bought King Video Cable and renamed it MediaOne. Time Warner bought Paragon and renamed it Time Warner. After less than 5 years Comcast bought them both.

    Now, I believe there are only 3 choices for cable television and broadband in Minnesota, and their coverage seems to be loosely based on our original three telephone area codes. Therefore, if you live in Comcast's controlled area (Minneapolis/St. Paul), you get to deal with the Comcast monopoly. If you live outside of this area, you would be in the Charter controlled area, or Rogers I think.

  • by powerlord (28156) on Friday December 04, 2009 @09:51PM (#30331872) Journal

    Because NBC was the main push behind Hulu bringing programming from NBC, USA and SyFy (nee' SciFi).

    Fox is certainly on board, but ABC has only recently started to dip their toe into the waters and put their content on it (and even then, its tentative, marketing type runs). Most of ABC's on-line show related content is still locked up in their proprietary web-site and Flash GUI. The only other network that is even close to them is the CW (do they even count as a network anymore?)

    If Comcast takes over NBC and decides to cancel or otherwise interfere with Hulu broadcasting more that the current Hulu standard, it could impact the use/utility of the service.

    It remains to be seen if another service would rise in its place (although I hope one would).

  • Re:In other news... (Score:3, Informative)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday December 04, 2009 @10:18PM (#30332006) Journal

    Yes corporations act all "corporationy" AND they benefit from socialism (government handouts and pro-corporate regulations)

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