BREAKING: Comcast Gets NBC For $13.75B, Plus Unlimited Ryan Seacrest Backrubs
Well, it's not quite the $35 billion number thrown around in late September, but cable giant Comcast -- the one whose logo never fails to remind me of Pac-Man's red cousin munching delicious Alpha-Bits -- has itself gobbled up the disgraced fourth-place network and its various media holdings for $13.75 billion, half of it in cash. That sum gives them a 51% controlling interest in NBC Universal, while General Electric retains 49% and relinquishes boardroom power; Vivendi dumped its 20% stake. A newly minted division -- the Comcast Entertainment Group -- will oversee Comcast's interests.
The acquisition puts NBCU's cable networks like Bravo, USA and SyFy (does that look less ridiculous yet?) under the same umbrella as Comcast-owned channels like E!, Style, ESPN-challenger Versus, and the Golf Channel; expect exciting cross-branding opportunities, like Ryan Seacrest being the surprise guest judge on the Launch My Line finale, and Jay Leno hosting the annual Pimp My Golf Cart EnviroChallenge.
Jeff Zucker, meanwhile, will report to Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke, a honcho we understand is far less susceptible to upwardly-failing-jedi mind tricks. Godspeed to you, young Zuck. Deadline.com reports Rick Olshansky, longtime NBCU TV business affairs head, has been let go yesterday with time on his contract, while Broadcasting & Cable says Comcast ad sales exec Dave Cassaro will get the top TV ad sales job.
Still no word on whether NBC will be forced to vacate its home at the G.E. Building, leading its Tina Fey-starring sitcom to be renamed 1 Comcast Center.
· Comcast Buys NBCU to Create New Media Giant [The Wrap]
· Comcast, GE unveil NBC U deal [Variety]