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Comcast, NBCU Finalize Deal: Combined Entity Will Have Unparalleled Reach

800px-Comcast_Logo.svgBy Joe Mandese
  • The deal combines the biggest operator of cable and broadband communications services with one of the most powerful and broadest reach broadcast operations, giving the merged entity unparalleled distribution, and some of the most popular programming content and brands ever.
  • Philadelphia-based Comcast will control a 51% stake to former NBCU parent GE’s 49%.
  • Under the terms of the transaction, GE will contribute to the joint venture NBCU’s businesses valued at $30 billion, including its cable networks, filmed entertainment, televised entertainment, theme parks, and unconsolidated investments, subject to $9.1 billion in debt to third party lenders.
  • Comcast will contribute its cable networks including E!, Versus and the Golf Channel, its ten regional sports networks, and certain digital media properties, collectively valued at $7.25 billion, and make a payment to GE of approximately $6.5 billion of cash subject to certain adjustments based on various events between signing and closing.

Versus Could Compete With ESPN Under Comcast’s NBC Acquisition

  • Comcast’s impending acquisition of NBC Universal from GE “will certainly set off an effort to turn Versus into a viable alternative, if not a full-fledged competitor, to ESPN,” according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.

2010 LOGOMcDonald’s Rallies Around FIFA 2010 World Cup

By: Kenneth Hein
  • When the world tunes in to watch the FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa, McDonald’s wants to make sure it gets noticed.
  • The No. 1 burger chain announced today, what it is calling, its most comprehensive marketing program surrounding the tournament. This is the fifth year the chain is serving as the sponsor and the official restaurant.

Global Marketers 2009


Coca-Cola Embarks On Global Fanta Campaign

  • The first global campaign for Coca-Cola’s Fanta brand in nearly five years is launching in the United Kingdom and is scheduled to run in other markets throughout 2010. It targets mothers and the core teenage market, Joe Thomas reports.
  • The multimillion-pound campaign carries the tagline, “Grab a taste of Friday.” It hopes to connect with drinkers by tapping into the good feelings associated with the end of the working (and school, presumably) week.

Beijing’s Bird’s Nest To Be Transformed Into Winter Sports Park

  • The Beijing National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, will be “transformed into a winter sports park offering skiing and snowboarding in a bid to remain profitable.”
  • Bird’s nest owners hope to attract 20,000 people a day.

Marketers, Agencies Start to Consider More Ad Spending

By Michael Bush
  • Using an index where zero is neutral representing neither pessimism or optimism, the fall 2009 report showed cable TV to have an optimism index of 11 compared to one four months ago; mobile an index of 54 compared to 42 in the spring; and digital to have an index of 55, up from 40 four months earlier. And while broadcast TV (-8 vs. -17); magazines (-19 vs. -26); and national newspapers (-41 vs. -46) all had negative indexes, they all moved closer to zero, representing an uptick in optimism

150px-Univision_logo.svgUnivision to Launch Mini Ad Network

By Mike Shields
  • Univision is the latest major media company to launch its own mini ad network. In this case, the company is looking to replicate the ad-network model in the less-cluttered Spanish-language market.
  • Univision has formed Univision Partner Group, a collection of Spanish-language Web sites from the U.S., Latin American and Spain that reach a significant U.S. Hispanic audience.
  • Univision will be able to sell advertising across these partner sites, which include a range of content venues such as entertainment-oriented, news-focused, sports-minded and business-centric

NASCAR’s performance defies doomsayers, execs says

  • Reports of NASCAR’s demise were greatly exaggerated, says communications chief Ramsey Poston, who added that the sanctioning body is proud of its 2009 season against the backdrop of a recession that affected attendance and sponsorship sales.

Super Bowl Ad Buys: Social Media Will Impact Marketers’ Decisions

By Wayne Friedman
  • Increased digital word-of-mouth marketing — using social media and other platforms — could shift marketers’ media plan dynamics for next February’s Super Bowl.
  • Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of digital strategic services, and Randall Beard, executive vice president and general manager of Nielsen IAG, write that “earned media” — material from social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook — “will be a huge test, as the new reality of consumer expression” for next year’s big football game.
  • For instance, Tweets embedded in Facebook feeds, blog entries and Google search results can have long-term value.

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