Comcast will acquire NBC Universal from General Electric in a $30 billion deal announced Thursday that is poised to create a new entertainment powerhouse and reshape the TV landscape.
Comcast — the country's largest cable and Internet provider — will own 51 percent of the entity, while GE will retain the remaining 49 percent.
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The merger, which has been in talks for months, would give Comcast control over some of NBCU's hottest TV properties as GE will contribute NBCU's portfolio, valued at $30 billion, which includes television and film entertainment, and theme parks. Comcast will pay $6.5 billion upfront and will contribute its trove of cable channels — including E!, Versus and the Golf Channel — along with its 10 regional sports networks and several digital media properties valued at $7.25 billion.
"This deal is a perfect fit for Comcast and will allow us to become a leader in the development and distribution of multiplatform 'anytime, anywhere' media that American consumers are demanding," Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts said. "In particular, NBCU's fast-growing, highly profitable cable networks are a great complement to our industry-leading distribution business."
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Jeff Zucker, president of NBCU, will become CEO of the joint venture and will report to Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke. Business headquarters will remain in New York.
"This marks the start of a new era for NBCU, and I'm genuinely excited that I will be leading this wonderful organization, along with the Comcast team, at this important time in our history," Zucker said.
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