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Template:Cleanup Template:Infobox Company NBC Universal is a media and entertainment company formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electric's NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment (part of the French Media Group, Vivendi Universal (now Vivendi SA)). GE owns 80% of NBC Universal with the remaining 20% owned by Vivendi SA. The company develops, produces, and markets entertainment, news, and information to a global customer base.

NBC Universal owns and operates a United States television network, numerous cable networks, a group of local stations throughout the country, motion picture companies, a number of television production companies, and multiple theme parks. Universal Music Group was not included in the 2004 deal and is not part of NBC Universal.

Jeff Zucker was named president and CEO of NBC Universal on February 6, 2007, replacing Bob Wright, who remains chairman of NBC Universal and vice chairman of General Electric. Zucker previously served as chief executive of the company's television operations.[1] The logo of NBC Universal is a combination of the NBC peacock logo and the Universal Studios globe and text.

Television

Template:Proseline NBC Universal has its modern roots in a series of expansions undertaken by NBC. In the late 1980s, NBC began pursuing a strategy of diversification, including the formation of two NBC-owned cable-television networks: CNBC and America's Talking. NBC also had partial ownership of several regional sports channels and other cable channels such as: American Movie Classics, and Court TV (until 2006).

In 1994, NBC began operating NBC Desktop Video, a financial news service that delivers live video to personal computers. In 1996, the company announced an agreement with the Microsoft Corporation to create MSNBC, an all-news cable television channel (using its subscriber base from America's Talking network). A separate joint venture with Microsoft included establishing a news website, MSNBC.com. In 1998, NBC began broadcasting NBC Europe, CNBC Europe, NBC Asia, CNBC Asia, NBC Africa, and CNBC Africa. This was in partnership with Dow Jones & Co. They combined their financial news channels outside the US.

In 1999, NBC took a 32% stake in the Paxson group, operator of PAX TV. In 2004, NBC announced it was looking to sell its interest in PAX and end its 5 year relationship with Pax owner, Paxson Communications.

In 2002, NBC acquired the US-Spanish language broadcaster Telemundo, which included the bilingual Mun2 Television (pronounced "moon dohs" *just like mundo with an s*).

Also in 2002, NBC acquired the cable channel Bravo.
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In 2003, as part of the dismantling of the Vivendi Universal conglomerate, amid a major financial crisis caused by over-expansion, GE formed NBC Universal: 80% owned by GE, 20% by Vivendi Universal. In 2006, Vivendi SA had the right to monetize the remaining 20% at fair market value, which would have resulted in a forced purchase by GE. As of 2008, this option has not been exercised. The joint venture encompasses Vivendi's US film interests (such as Universal Studios), production and distribution units, as well as five theme parks,cable television channels (such as the USA Network), SCI FI, the defunct Trio, a cable channel devoted to pop culture, and its replacement, the mystery/crime channel Sleuth.

In 2004, the television production divisions of NBC Studios and Universal Network Television were combined to form Universal Media Studios. NBC Studios series brought into the company include the NBC dramas Las Vegas (with DreamWorks SKG), Crossing Jordan, and American Dreams. Universal Network Television brought the Law & Order franchise and The District -- in fact, Universal Network Television had co-produced American Dreams with NBC before the merger. Late night shows produced by the new group include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live, and Last Call with Carson Daly.

The formation of NBC Universal saw the establishment of NBC Universal Cable, which oversees the distribution, marketing, and advertisement sales for thirteen channels (Bravo, Bravo HD+ (eventually renamed Universal HD), Chiller, CNBC, CNBC World, MSNBC, mun2, SCI FI, ShopNBC, Telemundo, Sleuth, USA Network, Weather Plus, and the Olympic Games on cable). NBC Universal Cable also manages the company's investments in A&E, the History Channel, History Channel International, the Biography Channel, National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel, and TiVo.

In the early 1990s, NBC began its expansion throughout Europe by creating CNBC Europe and its long-time successful NBC Europe Superstation by broadcasting NBC Giga throughout Germany and the rest of the European Union. NBC Europe helped to develop the largest European computer and video games expo "Games Convention" in Leipzig with more than 100,000 visitors each year.

In 2005, NBC Universal joined HANA, the High Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance to help establish standards in consumer electronics interoperability.

On December 6, 2005 they announced a partnership with Apple Computer to offer shows from all the NBC Universal channels on the iTunes Store.

In January 2006, NBC Universal launched a new cable channel, Sleuth. The channel airs programming in the mystery/crime genre. The channel's initial slogan was "Mystery. Crime. All The Time." In early 2008, the channel unveiled a new slogan, "Get Clued In."

On January 12, 2007, NBC Universal revealed that on March 1, 2007, the company will launch a horror-themed cable channel, Chiller. At launch Chiller will be available exclusively on DirecTV. Chiller's tagline is "Dare To Watch". The network will feature films like Psycho and The Shining and TV series that include Twin Peaks, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Freddy's Nightmares, Friday the 13th: The Series, Tales from the Crypt, and others to be announced. NBC Universal also stated that, aside from content in their own vaults, Chiller will feature content from other studios as well (Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Paramount Pictures, CBS and 20th Century Fox, to name a few).Template:Fact

On February 14, 2007, the initial Chiller launch schedule was released. Other than the aforementioned series, other series set to air on the cable channel include American Gothic, G vs E, Night Gallery, Monsters and New Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Also of note, NBC and Universal had a long standing partnership, dating back to 1950, when NBC Universal Television Studio's earliest ancestor, Revue Studios, produced a number of shows for NBC, although they would have some hits on the other networks as well. This partnership continued even after Revue became Universal Television, then Studios USA (after it was split off from Universal again), then back to Universal Television. NBC Universal is contracted in the entertainment industry as NUTS/NBC Entertainment.

NBC Universal and Citadel Broadcasting are extending their exclusivity period while in negotiations for ION Media Networks.[2][3][4][5]

ION Media Networks, NBC Universal (NBCU) and Citadel Broadcasting have all reached an agreement for the recapitalization of ION.[6]

On Thursday, June 14 2007, NBCU announced that NBC Universal Television Studio would be renamed, effective immediately, to Universal Media Studios. The parent company, NBC Universal, explained that the reason for the name change of NBC Universal Television Studio was because "the new name fully describes the company's mission to be the premier content provider for television and digital platforms, spanning all television dayparts and creative genres." [7]

On October 9 2007 NBC Universal bought the Oxygen network .

In late 2007, NBC Universal bought Sparrowhawk Media Group and renamed it NBC Universal Global Networks. This acquisition gave NBC Universal all Hallmark channels outside the United States, plus the British channels: Diva TV, Movies 24, Hallmark Channel and the upcoming channel, KidsCo.

On July 6, 2008 NBC Universal along with two other companies announced their intentions to buy The Weather Channel.

Film

Universal Studios became a part of NBC Universal as a result of the 2004 merger.

In July 2005, rumors began to emerge that NBC Universal might buy DreamWorks SKG for around US$1.0 billion. Eventually, however, the studio (excluding DreamWorks Animation) was sold to Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, for just over US$1.6 billion. DreamWorks is now a part of Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures.

Parks and resorts

NBC Universal and Blackstone Group own the following parks and resorts:

References

  1. http://www.nbcumv.com/release_detail.nbc/corporate--jeffzuckernamedpr.html
  2. NBC and Citadel Revise Ion Proposal, Yahoo!,
  3. NBC and Citadel Extend Ion Exclusivity, Yahoo!,
  4. NBC and Citadel Amend Ion Media Offer, Yahoo!,
  5. NBC and Citadel's Final Try for ION, New York Post,
  6. ION Media Networks, Citadel and NBC Universal Reach Agreement to Recapitalize ION, Yahoo!,
  7. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20070614nuts01

External links

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