Comcast – NBC Universal

 

By Angela Saggiomo

Unknown-2

Unknown-1

30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
212-664-4444
www.nbcuni.com

Key Executives [1]

steveburke1

-courtesy of nbcuni.com

  Stephen Burke
CEO, NBCUniversal

Unknown

-courtesy of stopthecap.com

Brian Roberts
Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation

Stuart-Epstein-headshot

-courtesy of nbcuni.com

Stuart Epstein
Executive VP and CFO, NBCUniversal

BobGreenblatt1

-courtesy of nbcuni.com

Robert Greenblatt
Chairman, NBC Entertainment

 About the Company [2]

comcast-jv-300x202

This picture provides a detailed list of holdings under the NBCU umbrella for each platform. (courtesy of williamsager.com)

NBCUniversal is a major American media company that owns and operates content across multiple platforms. NBCU distributes content through broadcast and cable television, film, and digital media. The company is owned by the Philadelphia based Comcast Corporation.

History [3]

images

-courtesy of toobtalk.com

In 2004 NBC and Universal merged to form NBCUniversal, a company jointly owed by General Electric and Vivendi. In 2009 the Comcast Corporation announced intentions of acquiring NBCU and the venture was completed in January of 2011 when Comcast became majority stockholders. In 2013 Comcast gained full ownership of the media conglomerate after purchasing GE’s minority stake for $16.7 billion.

Financials* [4]

NBCUniversal had a very successful third quarter in 2013. Overall revenue increased 3.9% to $5.9 billion. For the cable networks revenue is up 4% to over $2 billion, increasing 5.4% and 4.6% in distribution and advertising respectively. Broadcast also saw an increase in revenue, up 2.6% due to an increase in retransmission fees. This is an important increase because it is a fairly new revenue stream for the company.

*all financials are compared to third quarter results of 2012 excluding extra revenue generated by the 2012 Olympics which were broadcast by NBCUniversal during that period

In the News

The Esquire Network 

g4-to-be-rebranded-as-the-esquire-network-on-april-22nd

-courtesy of g4tv.com

In early 2013 NBCUniversal announced plans to launch the Esquire Network on the low performing G4 [6]. However after examining network brands, and with less than a month before its unveiling, it was announced that it would instead replace the female skewing Style Network. With channels like Bravo, E! and Oxygen which tend to perform better with females, NBCU saw the launch of this network as a chance to appeal to a more male audience.

Since its debut in late September, Esquire has premiered original programming as well as aired rebroadcasts of NBC favorites such as Parks and Recreation and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The new network appeals to a male audience but differs greatly from its direct competition Spike and FX. The target audience is of the more sophisticated male population with many new shows about travel and cooking [7]. Esquire joins the ranks of NBCUniversal owned networks that are programmed around a very distinct brand, allowing them to better target specific audiences for advertisers.

Welcome to the Family! [5]

sprout-logo

-courtesy of kidscreen.com

On November 13th Comcast NBCUniversal announced the acquisition of the popular children’s cable network PBS Kids Sprout. NBCU already owned 40 percent of the network, buying the rest from PBS and HIT Television Ventures. The company first acquired management of the children’s network in 2011 during the merge with the Comcast Corporation.

The new ownership signals a significant change for the network, which will drop PBS from its title. NBCU plans to create much more original programming and mobile content for the network in order to better compete with rival networks such as Nick Jr. and Disney Jr. Overall NBCU has had trouble keeping up with social media content and this acquisition shows a step towards increasing their presence online [12]. By creating original shows for the network NBCU will own all rights and therefore be able to create much more digital content at a much lower cost.

On the heels of this announcement NBCUniversal also revealed that they would be shutting down KidsCo in early 2014. The network, co-owned by Corus Entertainment, could not find footing among the wide variety of children’s programing available in today’s market. Rather than splitting original children’s programming across multiple networks NBCU has decided to focus on one channel, allowing them to better distribute the content across multiple platforms. [8]

Ad Sales Overhaul

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-courtesy of bloomberg.com

Following a successful season in upfront ad sales NBCUniversal has decided to revamp its Advertisement Sales Department [10]. Previously, the company would sell ad inventory on a single network. Rather, they plan to sell ad time based on “demographic and thematic lines” [9]. This way ad reps can offer sponsors distinct audience groups for a more targeted sales approach. Because NBCUniversal has so many cable channels with such defined brands they can use this new sales structure to capitalize on this strength.

Networks will be split into two major groups: mass-entertainment programming and lifestyle cable channels. The mass-entertainment channels will include NBC, USA and Syfy while the lifestyle group includes networks like E!, Bravo and Esquire [11]. The department also saw a great amount of layoffs as a result of the restructuring because many of the channels are being packaged together for ad sales.

On the Horizon

2014 Winter Olympics

SochiTransformer

-courtesy of www.mcwade.com

NBCUniversal will air the 2014 Winter Games this February, which will take place in Sochi, Russia. NBCU has been a long time broadcaster of the Olympic games, a deal that has proven very lucrative for the company in the past. Comcast NBCUniversal made a deal to pay $4.38 billion for the exclusive rights to the next four Olympic games. The deal also stated that NBCUniversal would air all the events live for the first time. This is a decision made after the results of the events at the 2012 London Summer Olympics were revealed through social media prior to their primetime broadcast [14].

This year’s winter games will involve six new events: the ski halfpipe, women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, a figure skating team event, and luge team relays [15]. However, the games have already received a great deal of bad press as a result of strict anti-gay laws put in place by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The politician enacted a national law that bans all homosexual activity and even support [16]. While the International Olympic Committee has ensured that this will not affect the games, many have chosen to boycott the events. It is still unclear as to how this will affect the NBCUniversal coverage of the games.

To Infinity and Beyond [13]

richard-branson

-courtesy of chatter-fest.com

NBCUniversal has made a deal with Virgin Galactic to broadcast the eccentric billionaire Richard Branson’s first commercial flight to space. Multiple networks within the NBCUniversal family will cover the flight, which takes off next year. It will begin with a primetime special of the take off followed by interviews conducted next day on the Today Show.

This deal signals a “continued push for live event programming from entertainment channels and news organizations,” an idea that was previously unpopular because of its lack of rebroadcast opportunity[13]. However with the emergence of new media, live broadcast such as this can be very lucrative because it can air across multiple platforms at the same time. This allows companies like NBCU to maximize their reach for a single broadcast.

Sources

[1] – List of Executives – NBCUniversal

[2] – About NBCUniversal – NBCUniversal

[3] – History of NBCUniversal – NBCUniversal

[4] – NBCUniversal Financials – Comcast Corporation

[5] – NBCUniversal Acquisition of Sprout – NYTimes

[6] – Esquire Network Takes over Style – The Hollywood Reporter

[7] – Review of Esquire Network – slate.com

[8] – KidsCo Shutting Down – The Hollywood Reporter

[9] – NBCU Ad Sales Revamp – Variety

[10] – NBCU Upfront  SuccessVariety

[11] – NBCU LayoffsVariety

[12] – NBCU Social Media FootprintForbes

[13] – NBCU to Air First Virgin Space FlightCapital New York

[14] – NBCU Olympic DealNYTimes

[15] – Six New Olympic GamesNBC Bay Area

[16] – Olympic BoycottPRNewser

 

 

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