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NBC Universal by Levone


									NBC Universal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NBC Universal is a media and entertainment conglomerate formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electric's NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment, part of French Vivendi Universal. GE owns 80% of NBC Universal with the remaining 20% owned by Vivendi SA and Barry Diller. 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 and group of stations, a Spanish-language network, a portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a motion picture company, a number of television production companies, and several theme parks. April 2006: Universal Pictures UK decided to advance the download-to-own sales channel so they set up an agreement with LOVEFILM, Europe’s largest company in the online DVD rental and Video On Demand (VOD) business, to launch the UK’s first feature-film (DTO - Download To Own) internet sales channel this week. Starting with King Kong and other recent movies to follow.

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 has partial ownership of several regional sports channels and other cable channels, such as Court TV and American Movie Classics. NBC Super Channel reaches more than 65 million households in Europe. 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 its America's Talking network. The joint venture also included establishing a companion news service, MSNBC Online, on the World Wide Web. NBC Desktop Video and America's Talking were phased out. Also in 1996, NBC began broadcasting CNBC Europe, NBC Asia and CNBC Asia and in 1998 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 dose"). Also in 2002, NBC acquired the cable channel Bravo.

10 Universal City Plaza in Universal City, California. In 2003, as part of the dismantling of the Vivendi Universal conglomerate, GE formed NBC Universal: 80% owned by GE, 20% by Vivendi Universal. In 2006, Vivendi Universal will have the right to monetize the remaining 20% at fair market value, which would result in a forced purchase by GE. The joint venture encompasses Vivendi's US film interests, such as Universal Studios production and distribution units, five theme parks, and cable television channels such as the USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, the defunct Trio, a cable channel devoted to pop culture, and its replacement, the mystery channel Sleuth. In 2004, the television production divisions of NBC Studios and Universal Network Television were combined to form NBC Universal Television Studio. NBC Studio 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 twelve channels (Bravo, Bravo HD+ (eventually renamed Universal HD), CNBC, CNBC World, MSNBC, mun2, Sci Fi Channel, ShopNBC, Telemundo, Trio (which will eventually become Sleuth TV), 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 6th they announced a partnership with Apple Computer to offer shows from all the NBC Universal channels on the iTunes music store. In January, 2006, NBC Universal launched a new cable channel, Sleuth, a 24-hour entertainment cable channel dedicated to the popular – and enduring – crime, mystery and suspense genre. The company's popular "Law & Order" series is not being featured on Sleuth, as it is already airing on its USA Network and Bravo cable channels. Sleuth features crime and mystery classics from NBC Universal's extensive library of feature films, classic television shows, reality series and documentaries. Programming includes popular and cult television series like "Miami Vice", "The A-Team", and "Knight Rider". Crime, mystery and suspense films like "Scarface", "The Jackal", "Casino", "Sneakers", and "Mercury Rising" will be in the SD and HD lineups, with at least 20 hours of content from the channels offered on demand at any given time to consumers. Sleuth is on many Time-Warner cable systems across the country. Sleuth was added to the DirecTV lineup on June 1, 2006. 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.

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 $2.5 billion. Dreamworks Pictures already used Universal's film distribution and home entertainment divisions to distribute their products. Eventually, however, the studio (excluding Dreamworks Animation) was sold to Viacom, Paramount Pictures' parent company.

Parks and resorts
NBC Universal owns Universal Studios in Hollywood and has a major stake in

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Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida, which features Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure Universal Studios Japan in Osaka Port Aventura (formally Universal Mediterranea) near Barcelona, Spain *Sold in 2004/2005

External links
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NBC Universal's website NBC Universal's theme park in Hollywood

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