Is Comcast buying Universal?
Written by Robert Niles
Reports are flying that cable TV giant Comcast might have a deal to buy NBC Universal from GE. You might remember Comcast making a play for Disney five years ago, in the dying days of the Eisner regime. Comcast is denying a deal is in place, though.Tweet
All the talk to date focuses on how Comcast's cable systems would mesh with NBCU's cable networks. And Universal's film library. But no one's talking about the theme parks yet.
Having made a play for Disney before, surely someone at Comcast has done some research about the industry. When NBC bought Universal from Vivendi a few years back (Vivendi retains a 20% stake in NBCU), early talk from NBC was that it would rid itself of the parks ASAP. But Universal park execs made a strong case to their new bosses, showing them what cash cows and promotional vehicles they can be, and NBCU's been pretty much a happy owner of the parks every since.
With InBev still trying to find a buyer for its Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks, now would seem a lousy time to be selling any parks. And let's not forget that the Busch theme parks' rumored suitor, Blackstone Group, is now a 50% stakeholder in... (say it with me now) Universal Orlando.
Update: This is the open thread for any additional breaking news overnight. (Remember, we have an earlier thread today about the monorail situation at Disney World, so post there with any new info on that.)
I'll be on a plane between LAX and SFO early in the AM, so I might be offline for part of the morning, depending on whether I can get WiFi on my flight. Be good, and I'll be back soon.
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