NPR

Comcast To Complete NBCUniversal Buyout Early

Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

General Electric will soon have to pay rent if it wants to keep offices in the famed 30 Rockefeller Plaza building in New York City. The skyscraper is being sold to Comcast. It's part of a more than $18 billion deal to take full ownership of NBCUniversal.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Uh-huh, there were so many years of jokes about GE's ownership of NBC. Take NBC's "30 Rock" - like when Jack Donaghy, Alec Baldwin, announces his title after he moves from one part of GE to run TV production.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "30 ROCK")

ALEC BALDWIN: (as Donaghy) I'm the new vice president of East Coast television and microwave oven programming.

SYDELL: Still, the uneasy relationship lasted some 30 years until 2011, then GE sold Comcast a 51 percent stake of NBCUniversal and promised to eventually sell them the rest. Now Comcast is the full owner of NBCUniversal and it gains all the profits from networks such as USA, Bravo, Syfy, and Universal film studios.

As TV goes everywhere, media analyst Bernard Gershon says Comcast will be able to use its Internet service to provide you shows.

BERNARD GERSHON: "The Real Housewives of Orange County," for example, which is on Bravo; you'll be able to watch that on your television set, and you'll be able to watch it on your tablet or your smartphone, at home or if you're sitting on the beach.

SYDELL: And from now on, you won't have to worry about your microwave oven streaming you the next episode of "Law and Order."

Laura Sydell, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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