The Comcast/NBC/Universal merger is happening, and we should have smelled it from a mile away. For a while there’s been speculation that ownership of the troubled Peacock network would be up for grabs, and it’s true. According to a press release posted on Comcast‘s official site, the three entertainment entities have joined forces for a huge lucrative deal.
This newly formed agreement will cause for 51 percent of the network to be owned by Comcast, 49 percent to be owned by GE, and it will be managed by Comcast. Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Univeral will become CEO of the new entity, Comcast Entertainment Group, and will report to Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke. A venture of this magnitude is expected to cause a major shake up in the broadcasting world of sports and entertainment.
Under the terms of the transaction, GE will contribute to the joint venture NBCU’s businesses valued at $30 billion, including its cable networks, filmed entertainment, televised entertainment, theme parks, and unconsolidated investments, subject to $9.1 billion in debt to third party lenders. Comcast will contribute its cable networks including E!, Versus and the Golf Channel, its ten regional sports networks, and certain digital media properties, collectively valued at $7.25 billion, and make a payment to GE of approximately $6.5 billion of cash subject to certain adjustments based on various events between signing and closing.
The biggest financial draws within the deal come from the cable networks USA, Bravo, Syfy, E!, Versus, CNBC and MSNBC, which will account for 80 percent of its cash flow. For the most part, the changes you’ll see as a viewer will be minimal. The corporate side of things will feel the grunt of the after effects of this new deal, which seems like a last ditch effort to salvage a failing network.
The terms of the Comcast agreement are still awaiting approval from several advisory boards, so more news is expected to be released down the line.
What do you think of Comcast buying NBC Universal? Do you think they will hurt or help the network?