It’s now official: Comcast and General Electric have agreed on the terms of a deal in which the nation’s largest cable provider would gain majority control of NBC-Universal. In a press release sent out early Thursday morning, the two companies announced a “joint venture” in which Comcast would own 51 percent of NBCU and gain managerial control, while GE would retain 49 percent.
“The combination of assets creates a leading media and entertainment company with the proven capability to provide some of the world’s most popular entertainment, news and sports content, movies and film libraries to consumers anytime, anywhere,” the release stated.
Among the promises contained in the release was a notable commitment to local news and local stations. As Robert MacMillan of Reuters pointed out in a blog post, the company is emphasizing that its committed to preserving and enriching “the output of local news, local public affairs and other public interest programming on NBC O&O stations.”
Jeff Zucker, NBCU’s current president and CEO, though, emphasized the breadth of the business in making the announcement, noting the company’s “suite of cable properties” and “global theme park business.” Zucker also highlighted his lead role in the new venture saying, “This marks the start of a new era for NBCU, and I’m genuinely excited that I will be leading this wonderful organization.”
Being a self-professed “old-school journalist,” Reuters’ MacMillan suggests that the local industry save a copy of the press release, filled with commitments, “so you can hold Comcast’s feet to the fire later if things dont work out as planned.”