Comcast – NBCU – (broadcast)

by Lindsay Wolfson

NBC Universal Television

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, New York 10112

Key Executives:

Stephen B. Burke: Chief Executive Officer

Matt Bond: Executive Vice President of Content Distribution

Cesar Conde: Executive Vice President

Robert Greenblatt: Chairman, NBC Entertainment

Patricia Fili-Krushel: Chairman: NBC Universal News Group, NBC Universal

Ted Harbert: Chairman for NBC Broadcasting

History:

The National Broadcast Company (NBC) was founded in 1926 with an original focus on National Radio Broadcasting, but then made the transformation into Television Broadcasting. [1].  Universal Studios began in 1906 when an immigrant bought a movie theater and then rapidly expanded his business, which inevitably led to the first enclosed space specifically designed for moviemaking. [2]. NBC and Universal became one unified company in May of 2004. These companies came together and created a unique product of television distribution and part of the film industry. On the broadcast side, there were two main networks, NBC and Telemundo, and along with the broadcast channels were countless cable networks. Of the NBC-U broadcast stations there are over 200 affiliates nationwide in major cities such as New York and Philadelphia. [3] Originally, General Electric and Vivendi owned this new founded conglomerate, but now the majority owner is the Comcast Corporation, which owns 51%. [4].  This change of hands occurred back in January of 2011. Since NBC original formation, this company has developed into a nationally recognized source for news, entertainment in sports in the television industry.

 

Financials:

Fiscally, Comcast Corporation is a very successful corporation that is publically traded and its individual branches such as NBC-U share in that success. This past quarter, which ended in late October, demonstrated a thriving fiscal period. On the broadcast side, revenue increased 7.7% to $1.8 billion compared to the $1.6 billion achieved in the same quarter in 2013. According to the fiscal report, due to the NBC-U Broadcast’s reliable success this monetary growth in revenue is caused by the increase from advertising revenue. There are also increases in content licensing profits and retransmission consent fees. Operating cash flow increased as well for NBC-U Broadcasting. Comparatively, to the NBC-U cable networks, there was a significantly greater amount of growth. NBC-U’s cable networks only had 0.7% grown while its broadcast has 7.7% growth. Last year’s extensive fiscal success was caused in part by the promotion from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. [5]. Comcast’s stock has been pretty stable over the past year ranging from $57.49 to $47.74. Since 2009, there has been a steady increase in the price of stock for Comcast indicating its growing success within the industry. In terms of total revenue for the Comcast Corporation, the company had a 6.2% increase from 2012 to 2013. As the year closes, it will be interesting to see if the 2014 fiscal year will bring about the same impressive results as did 2013 for the Comcast Corporation and NBC-U. [6].

 

Fall Season:

A to Z is new romantic comedy starring Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti.

A to Z is new romantic comedy starring Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti.

Back in early June, NBC U released which shows were going to premiere in the Fall 2014 Season. [7]. The major staple show for the fall season was expected to be The Voice and it was utilized as a fulcrum for generating viewership on both Monday and Tuesday evenings in general for the network. NBC programmers were hopeful that the large viewership from The Voice would help the ratings for the shows that directly followed. Interestingly, although NBC-U generates extensive amounts of original content, the big draw for viewership is Sunday Night Football. This strong viewership pushed NBC-U into the top spot for broadcast this past year. Sunday Night Football even challenged the World Series this past October in questioning which would receive more viewership. [8].  There were many programs tested for this past Fall Season.

The new comedy pilots for the Fall 2014 season included Bad Judge, Marry Me, and A to Z and the new drama pilots included Constantine, State of Affairs and The Mysteries of Laura.

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The Mysteries of Laura is a new drama starring Debra Messing. Courtesy of imdb.com

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State of Affairs is a new drama starring Katherine Heigl. Courtesy of imdb.com

 

 

 

Fall Ratings & Critical Reception:

Out of those new pilots that were slated for Fall 2014 Season, many were not picked up to continue. Comedies such as A to Z and Bad Judge will not continue further after this initial trial run, but these shows will both finish production and air the remaining product. [9].  Both shows had started decently in terms of ratings, but then they both started to collapse. For NBC’s newest dramas such as State of Affairs and Mysteries of Laura, they have had a decent start amongst the Broadcast lineup and have not been cancelled as of yet.

Information Courtesy of http://www.nbc.com

“Mysteries of Laura” has surprisingly kept its presence along with other dramas with a 1.8 rating amongst 18-49 years olds. [10]. In terms of ratings, Sunday Night Football drives up the ratings for NBC. For instance, the week ending with November 23rd, #1 Saturday Night Football generated a rating of 8.1 for 18-49 years which was far greater than the #2 Big Bang Theory which received a 4.1 for the same age demographic. This shows that across multiple genres, NBC exhibits success in primetime Broadcast Television.

 

Late Night Television Powerhouse:

After the record-breaking spring launch of NBC’s new Late Night lineup, the success of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Seth Meyers has continued its success into the Fall 2014 Season. The Tonight Show has been pretty strong against its competitors such as Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Show with David Letterman. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has received 1.18/6 rating for the 18-49 demographic which surpasses his direct timeslot competitors in the 2014 3rd Quarter. Many were fearful that Jimmy Fallon’s success was only temporary, but now after continuing on this fall season that appears not be the case. [16].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, this past fall has marked the 40th season for Saturday Night Live, which remains under the direction of Lorne Michaels. Overall, this season has been pretty weak in terms of ratings, but peaked when Chris Rock hosted with musical guest Prince. [11]. This show’s best rating so far received only a 2.2/10 for the key 18-49 demographic, which is not very strong at all.

Opening Sequence for Saturday Night Live’s 40th Season. http://vimeo.com/107482286

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Courtesy of http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/04/25/saturday-night-live-clips-coming-to-yahoo/ )

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Ratings:

Every year, one of the major staples for NBC Broadcast is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, even though it is not during primetime hours. This past Thanksgiving, the parade received its 3nd largest rating in the past 13 years. The program received a 6.2/10 rating in adults 18-49 and 22.6 million viewers total. Last year’s parade though, had the 2nd largest viewership with a rating of 6.6/10 since 2004. [12].

Every year, one of the major fall staples for NBC Broadcast is the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

Every year, one of the major fall staples for NBC Broadcast is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Photo Courtesy of http://social.macys.com/parade/?cm_mmc=VanityUrl-_-parade-_-n-_-n

Looking Forward:

After receiving over 18 million viewers and 4 Emmy Nominations for the Sound of Music Live, NBC decided to proceed and create another live performance. [13] [17]. This new performance of Peter Pan will be starring Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.

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Peter Pan Live will be airing December 4th at 8pm starring Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as Captain Hook. [15].

This live performance will be taking place in a former aircraft warehouse on Long Island, New York. There is an estimated budget of $10 Million to put together this one-night only performance. [14]. The expectations of this performance are extremely high due to the viewership success of the Sound of Music Live.

 

Works Cited: 

1. Announcing the National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (1926). (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://earlyradiohistory.us/1926nbc.htm

2. NBCUniversal History. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://www.nbcuni.com/corporate/about-us/history

3. NBCUniversal. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2014, from http://corporate.comcast.com/our-company/businesses/nbcuniversal#accordion-1

4. Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=comcast

5. Comcast. (2014, October 23). Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.cmcsa.com/earnings.cfm

6. Comcast Corporation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=CMCSA

7. Kissell, R. (2014, June 2). NBC Announces Fall Premiere Dates for New, Returning Series. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/nbc-announces-fall-premiere-dates-for-new-returning-series-1201207308/

8. Kissell, R. (2014, October 27). Ratings: NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ Dominates World Series on Fox. Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://variety.com/2014/data/ratings/ratings-nbcs-sunday-night-football-dominates-world-series-on-fox-1201340093/

9. Hibberd, J. (2014, October 31). NBC to cancel ‘Bad Judge,’ ‘A to Z’ with zombie twist | EW.com. Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/10/31/bad-judge-a-to-z/

10. Predum, L. (2014, October 28). NBC Gives ‘Mysteries of Laura’ Full Season Pickup. Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/mysteries-of-laura-full-season-pickup-nbc-1201341098/

11. Kissell, R. (2014, November 2). NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hits Season Highs With Chris Rock, Prince. Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/nbcs-saturday-night-live-hits-season-highs-with-chris-rock-prince-1201345402/

12. Bibel, S. (2014, November 28). ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade’ Garners 22.6 Million Viewers, Ranking as The Second Most-Watched Parade in 13 Years. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/11/28/macys-thanksgiving-parade-garners-22-6-million-viewers-ranking-as-the-second-most-watched-parade-in-13-years/333311/

13. About. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://www.nbc.com/peter-pan-live/about

14. Littleton, C. (2014, November 26). NBC Hopes ‘Peter Pan Live’ Can Fly to New Heights. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://variety.com/2014/tv/features/peter-pan-live-nbc-new-heights-1201364850/

15. Watch Peter Pan Live! December 4 on NBC from Peter Pan LIVE! on NBC.com. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.nbc.com/peter-pan-live/video/peter-pan-live-december-4-on-nbc/2820050

16. Kissell, R. (2014, September 25). Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2014, from http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/latenight-ratings-nbcs-fallon-meyers-easy-winners-for-q3-abcs-kimmel-nightline-up-1201313970/

17. The Sound Of Music Live! (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://www.nbc.com/the-sound-of-music-live

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