The transition of NBCUniversal from being owned primarily by General Electric to Comcast had been expected to be an extended process, with the cable and phone giant gradually acquiring the entertainment company’s stock. But that changed this week with the announcement that Comcast would be completing the purchase of NBCU by the end of March.
Amy Chozick and Brian Selter of the New York Times report a variety of reasons for the faster pace of the acquisition, including:
- A conflict between the corporate cultures of Comcast and GE,
- Comcast’s desire to control programming sources as well as channels for distribiution, and that
- Now was financially a good time for Comcast to make the purchase.
Chozick and Selter report that:
The transaction made Comcast, the single biggest cable provider in the United States, one of the biggest owners of cable channels, too. NBCUniversal operates the NBC broadcast network, 10 local NBC stations, USA, Bravo, Syfy, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, the NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, Universal Pictures, Universal Studios, and a long list of other media brands.
- Here’s the story from CNBC, an NBCU financial news channel
- Hollywood Reporter – Comcast buying out GE’s NBCUniversal stake for $16.7B
- LA Times Company Town Blog – Purchase will make Comcast the nation’s most valuable media company
Given, of course, you don’t count Apple as a major media company. To be fair, Apple’s media operations are only a small part of their business, just as GE was primarily and industrial and finance company, not a media company.