by Julia Bodner
NBC Universal is one of the four major broadcast networks and a major picture studio. It includes many news and entertainment networks—local affiliated NBC stations and Telemundo network and local affiliates, a motion picture production company—Universal Pictures Studio, television production operations, and theme park—Universal Hollywood Theme Park.
In December 2009, GE and Comcast announced a deal that gave Comcast 51% ownership in NBC Universal and left provisions for Comcast to take full ownership in future years.
As of December 2010, after the deal with Comcast, NBC Universal now included: E!, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4 and Style. Comcast Interactive Media and Comcast Spectacor. Comcast Interactive Media develops and operates our Internet businesses, including Comcast.net, Xfinity TV, Plaxo, Fandango and DailyCandy, Comcast Spectacor owns two professional sports teams, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers, and a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, the Wells Fargo Center, and provides facilities management and food services for sporting events, concerts and other events.
As of November 13th 2010, Comcast reorganized NBC Universal. This will give executives more direct oversight of the company’s biggest assets: both cable and broadcast TV networks.
On January 28th, 2011, the transaction between GE and Comcast finalized. The deal left GE controlling 49% and Comcast 51% of the company’s holdings. After the deal closed, Comcast included NBC Universal into Comcast Interactive Media.
NBCUniversal gained exclusive rights to the 2012 Olympic Games and recently hosted the Super Bowl of 2012.
NBC Universal goes to the Summer Olympics
NBC Universal paid $1.18 billion for the right to carry the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. This is the most a network has ever paid for the games. As of February 13th, 2012, sales seem to be off to a strong start.
GE and BMW will be the only advertisers for NBC’s Olympic Broadcasts.
NEW on NBC TV: 2012
SMASH Premier. The show is an American musical drama series created by Theresa Reback and produced by legend Steven Spielberg. The premise is based on the creation of a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately, SMASH, dropped from 4.2 18-49 rating in the first half-hour to a 3.4 in the second half-hour.
Playback, those who recorded the show to watch at a later date/time, was not included in the ratings.
The reality TV show, The Voice,started its second season. The show documents the journey of four famous musicians in search for the best ‘voices’ in America. They become mentors with goals to turn the singers into true artists. Now in its second season, it was the dominant rated show against the strongest competition on television, including four hit comedies on CBS; the drama “House” on Fox; and the long-running reality show, “The Bachelor,” on ABC, but was down from its original ratings from the premier on February 6th.On premier night, the show averaged a huge 6.6 rating among 18- to 49-year-old viewers. The viewing total averaged 17.7 million.
NBCUniversal announced on February 12th that NBCU news will officially be moving out of its current Alameda Avenue, Burbank studio and move into a new state-of-the-art facility on the Universal lot in Los Angeles.
Pat Buchanan leaves MSNBC
 As of February 16th, 2012, Pat Buchanan, a conservative commentator for MSNBC for the past 10 years, left the channel. A spokesman for the cable news channel wished Buchanan well in future endeavors. Although the two separated on what looks like good terms, Buchanan did not appear on the channel since October when he began to promote his book called, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”. The book promoted his concerns about what he refers to as ‘“the end of white America” and the “shrinking of the European and Christian core of our country”. Liberals attacked Buchanan for his anti-Semitic, homophobic, and staunchly conservative views on MSNBC’s liberal news channel.
March 22nd, 2012: SMASH was renewed for a second season!
Bloomberg vs. Comcast NBCU merger
Bloomberg complains that Comcast is breaking its deal with the FCC when it agreed to allow the Comcast and NBCU merge in 2010. The deal said that if :
“Comcast now or in the future carries news and/or business news channels in a particular neighborhood, than Comcast must carry all independent news and business news channels in that neighborhood”.
Bloomberg has filed many complaints, but most recently on Aril 10ththat Comcast is being partial to its own content and discriminating against competitors. The media giant is arguing that Bloomberg has no merit to his arguments, but if he is right and adjustments need to be made this will not be good for Comcast-NBCU because many customers will be left confused from the massive amounts of disruption from channel changes.
Networks of NBC Universal Olympic Promotion Kick-Off
April 18th, 2012 marks 100 days until the July 27th Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics. All 20 of NBCUniversal channels will participate in a 30-second multi-platform marketing strategy known as a “roadblock” to further promote the countdown to the Olympic event.
That same day, the networks of NBCUniversal will also be participating in NBC Sports Group USOC’s Team take-over of Times Square.
With Comcast’s help the newly merged company can leverage all their assets’ to generate massive awareness of NBCUniversal events.
Making A Comeback
According to ratings as of April 24th, NBC was able to make a comeback from previous low ratings with both The Voice and SMASH on the schedule back to back due to the absence of new programming on Monday nights on CBS.
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA, CMCSK) reported 26% higher fourth-quarter profit. This rise in profit is due to an improvement in NBC’s cable TV unit and the inclusion of NBC Universal’s entertainment business.
NBC Broadcast network dragged behind the otherwise excellent quarter. Revenue of the network fell 3.7% for the fourth quarter and 7% for the year. Its film entity, Universal Pictures, fell 1.8% in the quarter as well.
Comcast is not worried. The company says it acquired NBC Universal primarily for the value of its cable networks—USA, CNBC and Bravo—which contrarily had a 5.3% increase in the quarter. Universal Theme Park was also up 4%.
February 15th: Comcast announced that the company would increase its annual dividend by 44%, brining it to 65 cents a share. The company also announced a $6.5 billion stock-repurchasing plan. $3 billion of those buybacks are set for 2012.
This is not surprising considering the recent trends in the media and cable industry. Conglomerates such as News Corp. and Time Warner Cable have made similar financial announcements.
Live from NBCUniversal
NBC will host 30 Rock at its New York City Studio (30 Rockefeller Plaza) for a live show on April 26th. NBC studios also hosted the show for the first time it ventured into the live arena earlier this year in October.
Want more NBC Universal?
 “Universal Parks & Resorts.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Parks_%26_Resorts. 25 Apr. 2012. Retrieved 29 Apr. 2012.
 “Love It or Leave It: NBCUniversal Unveils New Logo – Erik M Pelton & Associates, PLLC.” http://www.erikpelton.com/2011/02/03/love-it-or-leave-it-nbcuniversal-unveils-new-logo. 3 Feb. 2011. Retrieved. 25 Mar. 2012.
 “NBCs Looking for a Big Payoff.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/sports/olympics/nbc-is-looking-for-big-payoff-on-olympics.html?_r=2&ref=nbcuniversal. 13 Feb. 2012. Retrieved 15 Mar. 2012.
 “Second Season for Smash.” http://en.wikinoticia.com/entertainment/television%20and%20film%20-/112685-second-season-for-smash. Retrieved 22 Mar. 2012.
 “Smash Results.” http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/the-voice-keeps-up-super-bowl-momentum-smash-results-are-mixed/?scp=1&sq=smash%20voice&st=cse. 7 Feb. 2012. Retrieved 22 Mar. 2012.
 “Voice Keeps Up SuperBowl Momentum.” http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/the-voice-keeps-up-super-bowl-momentum-smash-results-are-mixed/?scp=1&sq=smash%20voice&st=cse. 7 Feb. 2012. Retrieved 22 Mar. 2012.