May 16, 2011 |
Comcast Corp. has made an offer to renew the contract of longtime Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer -- a potential vote of confidence that could quell speculation in Hollywood that his days in the job are numbered under the cable giant's new ownership. But the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. A key sticking point in the negotiations is how long Meyer's contract will be extended beyond its current expiration in 2012. Comcast was offering a shorter extension than the executive would like, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because of the confidentiality of the talks.
May 5, 2011 |
Now that it has become a Hollywood powerhouse, Comcast Corp. will spend an extra $300 million this year for television programming to revive its newly acquired NBC broadcast network and keep the company's cable channels humming. NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke on Wednesday renewed Comcast's long-standing pledge to invest millions of dollars more for television programming than the media company's former majority owner, General Electric Co., had been spending. In late January, Comcast acquired a 51% stake in NBCUniversal and GE became a minority partner.
May 4, 2011 |
Cable giant Comcast Corp. got a rude welcome into the world of broadcast television. In unveiling its first financial results since closing a deal in late January to take a majority stake in NBCUniversal, Comcast on Tuesday reported strong earnings from its newly acquired cable networks — including USA, MSNBC and Bravo — but the broadcast network NBC had a tough first quarter. Overall, Comcast posted net income of $943 million for the three months ended March 31. That's a 9% gain compared with the same quarter last year.
April 19, 2011 |
After negotiating seriously with ESPN and Turner Sports, the NHL signed a new 10-year television deal that will keep games on NBC and Versus, where they have been for six years. The deal is worth $2 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations who could not speak publicly. In the expiring contract, Versus paid the NHL about $75 million per year. NBC, however, split profits with the league and paid no rights fees. That will change, although Dick Ebersol, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, declined to be specific Tuesday.
February 17, 2011 |
Comcast Corp., which last month acquired majority ownership of NBC Universal, may not be feeling the love for the Olympics. Long one of NBC's most prestigious properties, the Olympic Games have given the broadcasting company huge ratings, leverage when negotiating new deals with cable operators and sweeteners to attract marquee advertisers willing to pay hefty premiums. NBC's previous parent company, General Electric Co., also used sponsorship of the Games as a calling card, helping to open doors of commerce in China and beyond.
January 28, 2011 |
Cats have nine lives. Ron Meyer has had nine bosses. His 16-year reign as president of Universal Studios has made the former talent agent Hollywood's longest surviving studio head. Now Meyer faces his toughest screen test. His new boss, NBC Universal Chief Executive Steve Burke, has shown that he's not timid about making management changes and shaking up the status quo. Before the cable giant even closed its merger with NBC Universal on Friday, he swept out several of the company's top television executives.
January 27, 2011 |
Clearing the way for its handoff of control of NBC Universal, General Electric Co. this week spent $3.8 billion to buy out the remaining interest of its French partner, Vivendi. Vivendi held on to a 20% stake in NBC Universal as part of the French company's 2004 deal when it sold the majority of its U.S. entertainment assets ? including NBC, Universal Studios and cable channels USA Network and Syfy ? to GE. Last fall, GE began acquiring Vivendi's interest in preparation for NBC Universal's merger with the Philadelphia cable operator Comcast Corp.
January 27, 2011 |
In the NBC sitcom "30 Rock," the self-absorbed television chief executive, played by Alec Baldwin, obsesses over what will happen to his career when his company ? NBC ? is taken over by Kabletown, a fictional cable systems operator from Philadelphia. On Friday the real-life cable company from Philadelphia ? Comcast Corp. ? assumes control of NBC Universal, the real-life entertainment colossus that is featured in the show. And while Steve Burke, the new chief executive of NBC Universal, is a fan of "30 Rock," one of his priorities will be to reform the NBC Universal corporate culture, one that has condoned politicking and aggrandizement, the very workplace parodied by the sitcom.
January 22, 2011 |
Cable news channel MSNBC ended its turbulent relationship with its most-popular anchor, Keith Olbermann, with a terse statement saying that Friday night's show was his last. In a six-minute farewell sign-off at the end of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," the forceful liberal commentator didn't volunteer a reason for his abrupt departure from the channel that became an ideological counterbalance to the rival Fox News Channel. The only hint Olbermann offered for his exit was an admission that over the last couple of years there were "many occasions" when the noise and heat surrounding the show "was just too much for me. " But, he added, it was a supportive, unwearying audience that "required that I keep going.