The NY Times reports that Comcast is getting closer to a deal with GE for control of NBC Universal. According to individuals that have been briefed on the discussions, the deal could be reached as early as next week:
After a series of meetings last week, the two companies reached a tentative agreement on Friday over the main points of a deal, these people said. Comcast would own about 51 percent of NBC Universal, contributing several billions of dollars in cash and its own stable of cable networks to the new venture.
G.E., which currently owns 80 percent of the entertainment company, would retain the other 49 percent and would contribute about $12 billion in debt to the new entity, though it is expected eventually to sell its ownership interest over several years.
The question of what will happen with French conglomerate Vivendi is still a major issue in the negotiations.
One of NBC Universal’s most notable personalities, Jay Leno, sat down for an interview with B&C and he discussed his take on the potential NBC Universal switch in ownership and the ever-changing nature of the TV business:
[Laughs] There’s an ownership change here every six months. “Oh, you’re the new programming guy, good to see you! OK, thank you.” Then the phone rings, “Hey Jay, I want you to meet the new guy. OK, good to see you!” I’ve been through nine of them!