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December 23, 2005

NBC buys Microsoft’s share of MSNBC TV

Posted by David Hunter at 11:47 AM ET.

While Microsoft may not have been doing any last minute shopping, NBC was doing just that:

NBC Universal announced today that it has reached a deal to acquire majority control of MSNBC, the 24-hour cable television news network, from Microsoft.

The transaction could be the first step in ending a nine-year partnership between the companies, and puts NBC squarely in control of the network, which has lagged behind the Fox News Channel and CNN in the ratings race for years. NBC said it has an option to acquire 100 percent of the cable channel within two years.

The deal comes after nearly a year of negotiations to undo the partnership, in which each side was increasingly frustrated with the other.

But the companies said msnbc.com will be unaffected by the transaction and Microsoft and NBC, which is 80 percent owned by General Electric, will continue to equally own the Internet site.

As I mentioned on Monday, MSNBC TV and MSNBC.com are separate and distinct. No financial terms were announced.

Update: From bizjournals.com:

NBC Universal increased its 50 percent stake in MSNBC’ cable channel to 82 percent in the all cash deal. Under the new deal, NBC Universal will have the option to buy Microsoft’s remaining share of MSNBC to take 100 percent ownership within two years.



Filed under Acquisitions, Alliances, Coopetition, GE, MSNBC TV, MSNBC.com, NBC

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4 Responses to “NBC buys Microsoft’s share of MSNBC TV”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » MSNBC.com toots own horn Says:

    [...] MSNBC.com is still equally owned by Microsoft and NBC and is separate from MSNBC TV which Microsoft largely divested in December. Filed under MSNBC TV, MSNBC.com Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

  2. MSNBC TV president Rick Kaplan leaving -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] MSNBC is majority-owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal after NBC increased its stake in the joint venture with Microsoft Corp. in December. As always, MSNBC TV is separate and distinct from MSNBC.com. The December deal was mentioned previously here. No successor to Kaplan was named immediately. As for where MSNBC stands in the industry: But with an average nightly audience of 143,000 people aged 25 to 54, it (MSNBC) still lags far behind Time Warner Inc.’s CNN with 201,000 viewers and News Corp.’s Fox news channel with 375,000 viewers. Filed under MSNBC TV, Microsoft   [Permalink] [...]

  3. Windows Weekly Miscellany - September 2, 2006 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Depending on who is counting, MSNBC.com still gets 3 to 4 times the traffic of CBSnews.com or ABCnews.com. As always, note that MSNBC.com is still equally owned by Microsoft and NBC and is separate from MSNBC TV which Microsoft largely divested in December. [...]

  4. GE and Microsoft discussed acquisition of Dow Jones -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Sarah Ellison and Dennis K. Berman are reporting in the Wall Street Journal (a Dow Jones publication) that in recent weeks General Electric and Microsoft were in discussions about offering an alternative bid to News Corp’s proposed acquisition of Dow Jones from the controlling Bancroft family. Apparently GE and Microsoft couldn’t reach an agreement and GE may look for another partner to make a bid. It isn’t really clear what part Microsoft would have played in the deal other than providing a fat wallet and experience in partnering with GE in MSNBC.com and the MSNBC TV cable channel. Filed under Acquisitions, Coopetition, MSNBC TV, MSNBC.com, Microsoft [...]

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