Bloomberg reports that Comcast is leaning toward keeping Jeff Zucker and his team in place if it buys a controlling stake in NBC Universal. But any move is on hold until Vivendi decides what to do about its 20% stake in NBCU.
The Los Angeles Times says Vivendi’s board of directors is meeting Wednesday in Paris. They could decide then what to do about the company’s annual option to put its stake to General Electric for purchase or an IPO. But even if a decision is made this week, it may not be announced until the annual window for the action opens November 15th through December 10th.
Despite NBC’s ratings move from first to worst in recent years, Bloomberg says three sources close to the negotiations say Zucker is likely to be kept on as NBCU President and CEO if Comcast buys a 51% stake, leaving GE with 49%.
RBR-TVBR observation: While we broadcasters may be most focused on the Peacock net, Comcast is likely more focused on the cable networks. USA Network, in particular, is a cable powerhouse and some of the other cable nets owned by NBCU are also growing nicely.
The big question yet to be answered if Comcast does take control of NBCU: Does the cable MSO want to own local television stations? If not, would it put the NBC O&Os up for sale and have the network operate without any stations of its own?