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Comcast purchase of NBC Universal said to be done deal now

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Published: December 1, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Sources are now saying that the deal for Comcast to buy 51 percent of NBC/Universal is now done.

What this means? See this post from earlier.

Or this one, if you're feeling cynical (or sarcastic) about the whole thing. ;-)

Update, Dec. 3: And here's your official announcement. Sale price for 51 percent: $13.75 billion - $6.5 billion in cash and the rest in the value of Comcast's cable networks that will become part of the new NBC/Uni (E!, Versus, Golf Channel and 10 regional sports channels). Jeff Zucker remains your NBC/Uni CEO.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on December 1, 2009 at 5:48 PM
>> "Comcast wants NBC Universal largely for its lucrative cable channels, such as Bravo and CNBC. NBC Universal also spans the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, the Universal Pictures movie studio and (oh yeah, we almost forgot) Universal theme parks." <<

"Largely for its lucrative cable channels..."

Sigh.

Will this be another corporate overlord that considers the significance of the parks to be an after thought? When you realize that Comcast accountants/lawyers/analysts no doubt reviewed the books and (in turn) the parks' recent performance (see "attendance") one has to wonder about their enthusiasm beyond TWWOHP.

From TH Creative on December 2, 2009 at 7:57 PM
I was amused by a recollection related to Comcast that speaks volumes about the pseudo competition between the Disney Universal parks.

In Mr. Niles' recent "Blogflume" titled "My $.02 on Comcast's purchase of NBC/Universal," he made the mistake of offering up the following passage:

"Remember, Comcast tried to get its hands of Disney a few years back, when the Eisner administration was floundering."

The Eisner Administration was never "floundering." And I need to look no further to back that assertion up than look to the words of respected amusement industry analyst Harold Vogel.

Reviewing the history of the era (2004) Eisner was under attack by Roy E. Disney (who resigned "in protest" from the company) and the "Save Disney" forces. At that year's shareholder's meeting (in a patently transparent demonstration of corporate PR) Eisner stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board. Of course he retained his position as CEO and maintained control of the company.

When Eisner announced he was leaving the company (after having NEVER ONCE expressed interest in renewing his contract) he was replaced by his hand-picked successor Robert Iger. Make note Roy E. Disney publicly opposed the selection of Iger ... but had no trouble coming back to work for the company after Iger took control.

Anyway, at Disney's 2004 annual shareholder's meeting Vogel attended a smaller media function with Eisner. That's when Comcast was making its bid to takeover Disney.

At that time Vogel was quoted as saying (paraphrased) "the executives of Disney did not seem as if they were in trouble. In fact, they seemed to be doing really well."

"Floundering?"

But what brings this around to my original thought was a comment that Eisner made at that media function. When a reporter eluded to Comcast's hostile bid, Eisner responded sarcastically (paraphrased): "Mergers and acquisitions? Oh yes, we're thinking of taking over Comcast."

It's amusing to know that a smug comment from a Disney exec implies the possibility that Disney could (with relative ease) gobble up the company that gobbled up Universal.

From Jason Read on December 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM
Hyperbole is fun TH, but "It's amusing to know that a smug comment from a Disney exec implies the possibility that Disney could (with relative ease) gobble up the company that gobbled up Universal" is just that.

Comcast market cap: $45.67 billion
Disney market cap: $55.9 billion

From Jason Read on December 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM
Some more numbers, just for fun:

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/the-nbc-universal-sale-by-the-numbers/

From TH Creative on December 3, 2009 at 6:11 PM
Thanks Jason! I appreciate you showing how a company entertained the folly of taking over another company whose market cap was more than $10 billion dollars greater than their own.

Thumbs up, big guy!

From TH Creative on December 3, 2009 at 6:15 PM
Also read through the link! Nice! It's noteworthy that it did not break out the theme park value. While it was reported that "NBC Universal will be valued at $30 billion," I wonder if the theme park performances were taken out of the mix if that sentence would read "NBC Universal will be valued at $31 billion."

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