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NBC, GE Find Innovative Ways To Justify NFL Outlay

NBC promos touting its return to National Football League coverage featured plenty of stadium lights against the night sky. Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune writes that the "cutaways do more than add visual punch..." Indeed, "those light bulbs help explain how the $3.6 billion, six-year deal for Sunday night football ... got done as a struggling network and its parent corporation sought to justify such a huge cash outlay." That means it involved other divisions of NBC parent General Electric, which got a "unique association" with the NFL in areas including security equipment, financial services, and electrical products. "It's just innovative business. It's innovative deal making," says Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal Television Group. "It's important for us to be looking at all those ways of doing business when the rights for all these things are really exorbitant."



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