NBCU Now Thinks Globally
NBC Universal has been moving into international markets compared to some other big U.S.-based media conglomerates. While Walt Disney has been a global household name for decades, and MTV is a defining American media brand. NBC was basically a domestic TV business owned by General Electric until it was combined with Universal Studios and other units of Vivendi in 2004.
But now NBCU is hoping to catch up, accelerating international growth plans as the U.S. TV businesses slows down. Under president Pete Smith, NBCU is building a worldwide film and TV production and distribution unit based in London. Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal, calls international a "huge priority" and says he wants to nearly double his company's foreign revenue to $5 billion by 2010. Last year, it was $2.8 billion, or 18% of the total.
By the end of this year, it plans to have 62 international channels, up from 12 earlier in 2007. Most come via acquisition, and Smith says NBCU is still in the market.