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Comcast To Complete NBCUniversal Buyout Early


General Electric will soon have to pay rent if it wants to keep offices in the famed 30 Rockefeller Plaza building in New York City. The skyscraper is being sold to Comcast. It's part of a more than $18 billion deal to take full ownership of NBCUniversal.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Uh-huh, there were so many years of jokes about GE's ownership of NBC. Take NBC's "30 Rock" - like when Jack Donaghy, Alec Baldwin, announces his title after he moves from one part of GE to run TV production.


SYDELL: Still, the uneasy relationship lasted some 30 years until 2011, then GE sold Comcast a 51 percent stake of NBCUniversal and promised to eventually sell them the rest. Now Comcast is the full owner of NBCUniversal and it gains all the profits from networks such as USA, Bravo, Syfy, and Universal film studios.

As TV goes everywhere, media analyst Bernard Gershon says Comcast will be able to use its Internet service to provide you shows.

BERNARD GERSHON: "The Real Housewives of Orange County," for example, which is on Bravo; you'll be able to watch that on your television set, and you'll be able to watch it on your tablet or your smartphone, at home or if you're sitting on the beach.

SYDELL: And from now on, you won't have to worry about your microwave oven streaming you the next episode of "Law and Order."

Laura Sydell, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and