New York, NY —
Comcast, the country's largest cable operator announced today that it plans to buy a majority stake in NBC Universal. The deal will make Comcast, which is already the nation's biggest cable TV provider, the largest entertainment company in the U.S.
Comcast will pay General Electric, which has controlled NBC since 1986, an estimated $13.75 billion in cash and assets for control of NBC Universal.
In agreeing to buy 51 percent of the network from General Electric, Comcast is hoping to wed distribution and content. Executives hope movies will go to cable more quickly after theatrical release, and that TV programs can appear on cell phones and other mobile devices.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says this deal is "pro-consumer" and would allow the company to more quickly deliver "what consumers want, which is access to all different types of content on different platforms and different times."
Comcast already serves a quarter of all U.S. households that pay for TV.