Comcast Bags The Whole Peacock
Comcast has purchased from GE the 49 percent of NBCUniversal that it does not own, giving it full control of the media conglomerate that includes the NBC Television Network, Universal Pictures, Universal Studios theme parks and a host of cable channels including USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Syfy, E!, Telemundo, and the newly rebranded Esquire Network (formerly G4). The $16.7-billion deal comes two years before NBC's contractual option to buy GE's stake was to take effect. The New York Times reported that The Deal was accelerated in part because of the clash in corporate cultures. In an interview with today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times, Comcast chief Brian Roberts said, This is a historic day for Comcast. In a separate interview with the NY Times, he added, It's been a very smooth couple of years, and the content continues to get more valuable with new revenue streams. In an additional $1.4 billion transaction, Comcast said that it will also buy NBC's studios and offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the CNBC studios and offices in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The deal comes with naming rights for the 80-year-old New York skyscraper once known as the RCA building, which since 1988 has sported the GE logo. Investors approved the deal. Comcast shares were up 4.39 percent to $40.68 at midday trading on the NYSE, a 52-week high, while GE shares were up 3.14 percent to $23.29, also a 52-week high.