It looks as though Comcast is actually going to take over NBC Universal, or at least the company is acting as though it is going to. At the end of last week, Comcast announced that COO Steve Burke is going to take over as CEO of NBCU when the final deal goes through. The current NBCU CEO Jeffrey Zucker announced that he’d leave the company when the sale is finalized.
The takeover of a major network by a cable company is uncharted territory. In this case, it’s particularly interesting because NBCU is so much more than just the struggling NBC television network, which one analyst has valued at a negative $600 million. In fact, the most valuable property in the basket is actually the USA Network, a cable channel, valued at $11.7 billion. That’s nearly triple the Universal Studios part, worth an estimated $4 billion. Other cable channels in the basket include SyFy, CNBC, MSNBC, and Bravo, all of which are mainstays for subscription television services across the country. What will it mean to have them controlled by Comcast?
Pull up a chair and break out the popcorn; this is going to get interesting.