NBC Universal to Be Born Wednesday?


More than seven months after succeeding with its acquisition bid, NBC is expected to close on its $14 billion deal with Vivendi Universal Entertainment Wednesday.

At that point, the new NBC Universal, after months of speculation, will presumably answer questions about the structure of and who will be heading a cable-programming portfolio that will encompass such Universal Television Group properties as USA Network, Sci Fi Channel and Trio, as well as extant NBC Cable services CNBC, MSNBC and Bravo.

Other questions that could be laid to rest: the future of pop-culture network Trio and whether it will survive or be folded into Bravo; the number of pink slips that could be sent out following the union; what Olympic Games programming USA may showcase from Athens this summer; and how NBC will leverage its new vehicles during the impending advertising-upfront season.

In addition to the broadcast network, Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo, cable counterpart mun2 and the aforementioned cable networks, the new entity will house VUE’s Universal Studios movie studio, its Universal television-production unit and the Universal theme parks.

Previously, NBC executives said the new company expects to realize between $400 million-$500 million in synergies after the deal closes -- some $350 million in cost savings and $100 million in additional revenue.