What Comcast and NBC Universal bring to the party
A combination of NBC Universal and Comcast's cable programming assets would create a juggernaut that would rival Time Warner and Viacom.
General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal has 13 cable networks, the biggest of which are USA, Syfy, CNBC, Bravo, MSNBC and Oxygen.
Though NBC has fewer channels, the ones it does own are powerhouses. According to Kagan Media, an industry consulting firm, USA Network will have operating revenues of $1.4 billion this year and cash flow of $633 million. Its 55-cent per-subscriber fee is one of the highest for an entertainment network. Its hit shows include "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains."
CNBC is the next biggest cable network with operating revenue expected to hit over $650 million this year and cash flow of almost $360 million. Syfy, according to Kagan, will have revenues of $585.2 million in 2009 and cash flow of $239.5 million.
At Comcast, E! remains its most successful channel financially, with Kagan estimating that it will have revenues of $430.5 million in 2009 and cash flow of $150.2 million. Versus, which is Comcast's sports network, will have operating revenue of $349.2 million and $419,000 in cash flow.
Comcast's regional sports networks, which include channels in Chicago; Washington, D.C.- Baltimore; New England and Northern California are big revenue generators. Regional sports channels can often command subscriber fees as high as $2 per-subscriber, per-month.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: "Burn Notice" stars Gabrielle Anwar and Jeffrey Donovan. Credit: USA/Joe Pugliese