This is major, especially for New York City. General Electric has agreed to sell a controlling interest in NBC Universal to Comcast Cable.
The agreement will create a joint venture, with Comcast owning 51 percent and G.E. owning 49 percent. Comcast will contribute to the joint venture its stable of cable channels, which includes Versus, the Golf Channel and E Entertainment, worth about $7.25 billion, and will pay G.E. about $6.5 billion in cash, for a total of $13.75 billion. For now, the network will remain NBC Universal, but ultimately Comcast could decide to change the name. Almost immediately, the transaction reshapes the nation’s entertainment industry, giving a cable provider a huge portfolio of new content, even as it raises the sector’s anxieties about the future.
The deal is valued at $30B and may take 18 months before getting the approval of the FCC. NBC’s world headquarters is expected to remain in NYC for now. In 2004 Comcast failed in its bid to purchase ABC parent company Walt Disney Co.