Powered by TMCnet
| More

Cable Technology Feature Article

May 04, 2011

Comcast Announces Plans to Spend Even More Money on NBCUniversal Programming

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Comcast (News - Alert) has just revealed that they have plans to spend a huge chunk of money—$300 million to be exact-- on television programming in order to help the NBC broadcast network.

During a conference call with analysts that was originally planned to discuss Comcast's first-quarter earnings, Steve Burke, chief executive of NBCUniversal, commented the company would spend $200 million more this year on prime-time shows, in hopes to raise ratings for the NBC network. The cable giant will spend an additional $100 million on programming for the company's cable networks including giants like USA, Syfy, E! and Bravo, to keep them at the top spots they currently occupy.

Most of the $200 million that NBC will be receiving will be going towards restocking the 10 p.m. time slot with scripted shows. "The real key to turning around NBC is not necessarily increasing the investment. The real key is making better shows," Burke said.

According to a recent LA Times Article, NBC just ordered 21 all-new pilots for this upcoming spring and Burke and other company leaders will soon screen NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt's first slate of prime-time programming. NBC will unveil its revamped fall schedule in New York on May 16.

A huge source of loss for NBCUniversal is the company’s poor investments in sport ventures. For example, the company lost a staggering $223 million when covering the Vancover Olympics and loses more than $100 million a year due to its NFL “Sunday Night Football” contract.

"We're in business to make money, and our approach is going to be disciplined," Burke said. "As it relates to the Olympics or the NFL, we think those are two fantastic properties and would love to have them, but we would like to make money. ... At the end of the day, we are not going to do anything that doesn't have a business plan that pencils out." 

Whatever NBCUniversal decides to choose for its fall primetime lineup, it needs to be the perfect choice in order to keep their momentum as a top network.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves