Tuesday, September 28, 2021

COMCAST EXEC FORECASTS REVIVAL OF NBC, UNIVERSAL

January 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Angelakis

If it weren’t for its NFL telecasts, NBC would rank dead last among the major networks. Among the six major film studios, its corporate sibling Universal Pictures ranks fifth. But all that apparently hasn’t discouraged its controlling owner, Comcast Corp., whose CFO and vice chairman, Michael Angelakis, told a media conference Thursday that his company is setting aside funds to purchase from GE in 2014 the 49-percent stake in NBC Universal that it doesn’t already own. As Angelakis put it on Thursday at the Citi Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco: “The plan we have in place is to make sure that NBC Universal will generate the free cash flow and capacity so when that happens we’ll have the ability to redeem those shares or buy back those shares internally.” (The company announced earlier this week that it had scrapped plans to build a $750-million office and studio center in Universal City.) Nevertheless, Angelakis was critical of the progress the movie and TV studios have made since Comcast took over control a year ago. Of NBC, he said, “It’s been in fourth place for a really long time. … We need to move it forward to a higher level. If we do, there will be a real swing in profitability.” As for Universal, he remarked that he wasn’t “sure we can get back to where it was a few years ago … but we know we can do better than where we are today.” The problem, he observed, is that sales of DVDs have taken a big hit — at all the studios.