Who owns NBC?- A Full History


During the early twenties, NBC and Universal began creating some excellent content within the new world of motion pictures and distribution. The content was made supporting the location, radio, and television broadcasting. Today, collectively of the sub-companies of Comcast, NBC continues to create itself on the historical legacy while maintaining quality. A company working in the American broadcasting field, NBC (National Broadcasting Company has been a component of NBCUniversal since 2004. NBCUniversal is further owned by the Comcast Corporation and thus works under it. Here, we’ll know Who owns NBC?

Acquisition of NBC by Comcast

Comcast announced in 2009 that it has intentions of buying an outsized part of shares in the NBCUniversal from General Electric. It was a planned and discussed acquisition and was subject to scrutiny. Ranging right from the activists and government officials, everybody within the TV industry was concerned about the potential effects of this acquisition. This vertical integration was an arrangement based on the supply chain of NBC owned and then worked upon by Comcast. Comcast, then, was already a renowned name in cable television and internet services in the media.

As the deal went through, it finally stabilized on Comcast, buying 51 percent of the company until March 2013. After that, General Electrics decided to sell Comcast the entire ownership. Thus, later on, NBC was owned and operated under the name of Comcast. Both NBCUniversal and Comcast are headquartered at the Rockefeller Plaza Skyscraper in New York.

Proposal of the Acquisition by Comcast

The negotiations and discussions between the two companies to agree to a possible acquisition started in 2009. At the same time, two other companies, Time Warner and News Corporation, were also showing interest in buying shares of NBC. Towards the end of the year, Comcast had already started negotiating with General Electrics, the owner of some stakes in the company then. Still, the overall deal was delayed and held up with Vivendi.

In December 2009, an official announcement was made by Comcast of buying a 51 percent stake in NBC, and the deal would be structured as a buying deal of Vivendi’s stake. Thus, NBC became a joint venture between GE and Comcast, with 51 percent of the overall stakes with Comcast. The overall deal valued NBCUniversal at $30 billion. Also, the proposal had an option for General Electrics to sell further of their stakes to Comcast over seven years. The CEO of the company Jeff Zucker was maintained, and after the acquisition, the headquarters were also kept.

Brian Roberts was the CEO of Comcast. He described the deal as perfect for the reputation and growth of the company as it would bolster their role as a creator and distributor in the industry. Many cable channels were also added to Comcast because of the merger. It contributed about 82 percent of the overall generated revenue of the company. Despite specializing in cable, Comcast remained a profitable brand in broadcasting. Many new additions were made to the company’s portfolio. After some time, the CEO of General Electrics decided to sell the remaining shares to Comcast and move back to focus only on the industrial industry.

Opposition to the Acquisition

Together with the press companies, many media activists opposed this acquisition as they thought it might hinder the content that NBC provides. The NBC affiliates were also concerned. They urged FCC to ask Comcast to retain its over-air television and not move it to cable entirely. Many internet and television service competing companies placed some demands before FCC and Comcast needed to agree to adhere to offering wholesale access to the broadcast services.

Approval of the Acquisition

The acquisition was approved by the FCC and the United States Department of Justice on January 18, 2011, and the commissioner who approved the deal was hired as a lobbyist by Comcast after some time. Comcast agreed to supply a low-cost internet service plan for low-income families. It included all the internet essentials for only $9.95 per month with no activation fees. When the acquisition was completed, the company was renamed NBCUniversal with the change to reflect unity.

Divestment by General Electric

The ownership remained at 51 percent-49 percent for four years. Then, on February 12, it announced the intention to complete the acquisition all at once. At once, it assumed 100 percent ownership of the organization and was completed in 2013.

The Scale of the Company

The merger affected the scale and dimensions of the company significantly, and its position as a cable television provider with the ownership of NBCUniversal’s cable networks was horizontally integrated. The combination of both the businesses consisted of 10 TV movie and movie production studios, 20 cable channels, 11 regional broadcast TV stations, and many other services. The influence of this merger had a dynamic effect with or without the acquisition. Many different videos, programs, and advertisements are displayed on the web, which was very different from the traditional media. The model of the business also changed gradually as time went by.

Comcast sufficiently reached a large scale of audience and faced a lot of media. However, many uncertainties within the video marketplace were discussed, and there were many different concerns regarding the merger.

  • Impact on the Market – One of the claims that were put up for the merger is that Comcast would use the vertically integrated position to deny the rival companies any access to the programs. Comcast-NBC faced two major rivals then, which were satellite and the telephone company and the new entrant. The biggest challenge for the merged company was to search for a new business model to convince the programmers that the model will benefit from the contract. But, unfortunately, the model kept improving gradually, which is unhappy to the entrant. Comcast used the merger to change NBC into a cable network, which was done at local programming. As a result, many changes were made to the standard methods of generating revenue paths.

  • Impact on the Competition, Diversity, and Localism – Media ownership, competition, variety, and dialect are some of the most critical areas affected by this merger. As the companies were amalgamated, the power will increase, and it will harm the competitors. The diversity of the media, marketplace, and even the democracy of the country was affected. The single company enormously influenced the politics, art, culture all across the nation and within the metropolitan area.

  • Benefits to the Shareholders and Consumers – The merger also had the unique ability to craft the new business models that benefitted the consumers and develop the latest technologies to distribute videos. But, on the other hand, the enterprise operators have to find a new business model to distribute the videos.

  • Impact on the Worth of the Video Markets – Many observers have predicted that the price of the distribution fell dramatically because of the three major companies getting merged. In addition, the Comcast-NBCUniversal amalgamation also enhanced the business on the service of subscription, advertising.

On-Air Effects

There were some significant on-air effects of the deal, including aligning the sports properties with the division. All of the heads of the cable networks changed. Comcast acquired the majority of all the Universal assets, including:

  • Universal Pictures
  • Universal Studios
  • Focus Features
  • Working Title Films
  • Universal Animation Studios
  • Back Lot Music
  • SNL Studios

NBC Universal

NBC is amongst the leading media and entertainment companies that also indulge in developing, producing, and marketing entertainment, news, and other information. NBCUniversal owns and operates and a portfolio of news and television networks. It is one of the leading television stations group and is renowned all across the globe, and incorporates a premium ad supporting streaming service. As Comcast and NBC went through, many net-neutrality terms command a significant amount of content.

The price estimated for Comcast, according to a report, stands at $25.24, which is 12 percent of the overall market value. The deal proved to be very significant, and it amounts to half the total worth for Comcast. The joint venture between GE and Comcast will combine all of the cable networks and the regional sports networks and is valued at $37.25 billion. Comcast tried to take over Disney years back and appears a little more cautious.

Controlling the media content allows the company to achieve a distribution advantage over the other pay-tv providers. The threat from the competitive platforms also plays an essential role in improving the merged company. For example, a better online presence was awarded to Comcast because of the merger with NBC.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does NBCUniversal own Comcast?
    Comcast corporation is amongst the leading providers of entertainment. Its merger with NBCUniversal enhanced the overall popularity of the business.

  2. Why did General Electric sell NBC?
    In 2004, the company was in the middle of a financial crisis caused by over-expansion. Thus they decided to sell 80 percent of the overall share of the company.


Though the merger between Comcast and NBC faced many controversies, oppositions, in the end, it went through. The deal is additionally proving to be beneficial for both sides, and it helped the companies to popularize. Financially, the worth of the company also improved, and therefore the overall revenue generated was affected.

Who owns NBC?- A Full History

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