Monday, November 2, 2009

Comcast to Buy Cable Nets and Sell Rest of NBC?

Everything that NBC Universal has built up, the acquisition of USA and Sci Fi, then Bravo, Oxygen, and most recently The Weather Channel, could soon come apart. With a sale to Comcast, the only thing of value to Comcast are the cable nets, less so the broadcast network and its owned and operated stations. "One Wall Street player confirmed market rumors that bankers have already descended on the MSO's Philadelphia headquarters to work with management on selling the NBC Network and stations to a third party. Comcast had no immediate comment on that still-hypothetical possibility."

Is this what GE wants, will this provide Vivendi with the value they want for their investment? It seems Comcast knows exactly what they want and are not afraid to dismantle the infrastructure to get to their prize. It is a far more strategic plan than acquiring the whole thing. Will Universal and the theme parks go as well? I would expect so.

So who might want a broadcast network without cable networks to balance it out. Today the profit is in cable not broadcast. And with the current programming on NBC in prime time (i.e. The Jay Leno Show), this fourth placed network has less value to offer. Who would want this dog without and an affiliate network that has become less viable when the web can be much more hyper local. Is this the future for NBC Universal and who could possible want to buy this shell of an asset?

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