Comcast Corporation has agreed to buy General Electric’s (GE’s) remaining 49% stake in their NBC Universal joint venture for USD16.7 billion. The deal places the NBC broadcast network and the NBC-owned cable networks – including CNBC, Bravo and E! – under complete control of Comcast, while also included are the Universal film studios and Universal parks and resorts. Comcast bought 51% of NBC Universal from GE for about USD13.75 billion in cash and assets in January 2011. NBC Universal owns and operates a portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a motion picture company, significant television production operations, a TV stations group and a theme park group.
In the fourth quarter, Comcast booked a net profit of USD1.52 billion, up by 17.8% from USD1.29 billion a year earlier. Total revenue increased 5.9% to USD15.94 billion. Cable communications revenues climbed 7% to USD10.1 billion. High speed internet customers reached 19.367 million at 31 December 2012, a quarterly net increase of 341,000, while voice telephony customers rose 168,000 in three months to 9.955 million. Comcast’s video customer base shrank by 7,000 to 21.995 million in the fourth quarter. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Comcast Corporation is the leading US cable operator by subscribers, with a near-19% share of the US fixed broadband market at 30 September 2012, albeit down slightly year-on-year.
Revenue for the NBC Universal division increased 4.8% to USD6 billion in Q4 2012.