It might be a year or more before Comcast takes control of NBC Universal, but it already has lined up a major advertiser for NBC: General Electric.
According to a regulatory filing, GE plans to buy at least $59 million worth of ads each year for five years once the deal giving Comcast 51 percent of the new NBCU joint venture closes.
In addition, according to the AP, GE will buy $50 million in ads for the 2012 Olympics, bringing the total five-year-commitment to at least $345 million.
The filing came one day after GE said it would purchase from Vivendi the portion of NBCU it didn’t already own, then sell Comcast a 51 percent stake in a revamped version of NBCU.
Meanwhile, Comcast evp David Cohen told Reuters that the parties intend on filing the necessary antitrust documents to government regulators next month.
He said he expects the process to take nine to 12 months but that if a year passes without approval, the companies have an option to extend the deal for another six months.
“We welcome regulatory scrutiny, and we welcome congressional hearings because that gives us the opportunity to make our case,” Cohen said. “I can absolutely, definitively say prices are not going to go up for Comcast customers any more or less than they would have without this transaction.”