Report: Zucker to lead Comcast/NBC Universal JV

Wed, 11/11/2009 - 7:35am
Mike Robuck

Comcast and General Electric have a plan in place to put NBC Universal (NBCU) CEO Jeff Zucker in charge of the proposed joint venture of NBC Universal.

Reuters reported yesterday that Zucker had been tapped to lead the JV, but Reuters said the structure of the new board was still being negotiated.

Comcast and GE have been in talks over a deal that would give Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, a 51 percent stake in a NBC Universal joint venture with General Electric. Reuters previously reported that Comcast and GE put a value of $30 billion on NBCU.

Reuters’ anonymous sources said that Zucker would be chief executive of the joint venture, with no clauses for him to leave after a specific period. Peter Chernin, the former president of News Corp., has been advising Comcast and was rumored to be in the running to lead the new venture.

According to various media reports, General Electric would have 49 percent in the joint venture. While Comcast would offer $4 billion to $6 billion, as well as cable channels E!, Golf Channel and Versus, GE would offer up its 80 percent stake in NBC Universal, which includes theme parks, a movie studio, broadcast networks and cable channels USA, Bravo and CNBC.

In order to complete the deal, Comcast and GE need Vivendi to sell its stake in NBCU. Vivendi owns a 20 percent stake in NBCU, and Reuters reported that talks with Vivendi were “going slow.” Vivendi can notify GE between Nov. 15 and Dec. 10 on whether it intends to sell its stake.

More Broadband Direct 11/11/09:
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•  Report: Zucker to lead Comcast/NBC Universal JV
•  Broadband stimulus program to be streamlined
•  Cox shifts NBC HD shows into MyPrimetime
•  Wi-Fi industry angles for role in Smart Grid
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•  Cable TV executive Peter Storer dies in Wyo. at 81
•  Broadband Briefs for 11/11/09



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