The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The deal finally got done as NBC officially closed its $3.6-billion acquisition of Vivendi Universal yesterday. The renamed NBC Universal, 80 percent owned by General Electric and 20 percent by Vivendi, is now a media megalith on equal footing with the Disneys and Time Warners of the world.

Significantly though, it appears the new company will not move into the distribution game, according to CEO Bob Wright. It'll just be content creation and management, at least for a while. I suppose you could consider the Universal theme park properties that the new company now owns to be a sort of distribution channel, in that they are built to extend the company's other content/brands. But the parks are a very nontraditional distribution tool, and in any case, are doing so poorly that it wouldn't be surprising to see them get overhauled or even sold off.

In any case, now that the merger is complete, I'm looking forward to an announcement for the NHL on NBC.