Content Is King For NBC Universal

13 May 2004

Bob Wright head of NBC Universal has stressed the newly formed media group sees itself as a content provider.

Wright indicated he had no plans to buy into cable or satellite distribution compared with rivals such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Time Warner which do both.

"We're agnostic in terms of the technical aspects of distribution and we want to be associated with all forms of distribution," he said.

"As we go through the eye of the digital needle, our judgment is that - at this juncture - we don't want to make a substantial financial investment in distribution."

Wright's comments came as NBC and Vivendi announced the long-awaited completion of the merger agreed last September and approved by US regulators last month.

Under the deal, Vivendi receives $3.4 billion (€2.8bn; £1.9m) in cash and a 20% stake in the combined group.

Analysts regard the agreement as a vindication for Vivendi executives, who pressed ahead in spite of fears from investors that NBC would attempt to renegotiate the terms.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff