Black Entertainment : TV Pricing Itself Out of the Market

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Kemetstry, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Budget cuts loom for NBC Universal- MSN Money
    MSN Money2 hours ago
    When it comes to NBC Universal, Comcast (CMCSA) is not going to throw good money after bad. The Philadelphia media giant has recently slashed the budget of "The

    Budget cuts loom for NBC Universal
    Corporate parent Comcast will slash costs beyond 'The Tonight Show.'
    By Jonathan Berr 7 hours ago

    When it comes to NBC Universal, Comcast (CMCSA +0.41%) is not going to throw good money after bad.

    The Philadelphia media giant has recently slashed the budget of "The Tonight Show," resulting in host Jay Leno's taking a "huge" pay cut to help save jobs on his staff. Leno, though, will still earn as much as $25 million, so there is no need to hold benefits in honor of the square-jawed comedian.

    Though it is easy to denounce Comcast for its penny pinching, the Los Angeles Times makes a convincing case that it isn't the case. It is amazing that it took this long for Comcast to swing the budgetary axe.

    "Unofficially, people close to the show say the cuts were enacted because Leno was still producing his late-night show with the budget he was given two years ago for his ill-fated move into prime time," according to the newspaper. "The network has also increased the amount of money it spends on entertainment programming" on expensive shows such as "Smash" and "Revolution."

    Indeed, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has shelled out $4.4 billion on a dubious bet in the Olympics through 2020 and billions more to secure the TV rights to the NFL since taking control of NBC Universal in 2011 from General Electric (GE -0.38%).

    NBC Universal had long been a drag on GE's earnings, and Comcast hasn't fared much better with it. During the last quarter, revenue was little changed at $5.5 billion, while NBC Universal's operating cash flow fell 15.4% to $982 million.

    Figuring out where the budget ax may fall next is hard. But it's certain to drop. One vulnerable area may be Universal Studios, which, according to Box Office Mojo, ranks fourth in the box office this year, hurt by box office duds such as "Battleship" and "Tower Heist."

    Two NBC franchises, "The Today Show" and "Meet the Press," are facing unprecedented pressure in the ratings. In July, viewership at rival "Good Morning America" had more viewers than "Today," both overall and in the key viewer demographic, for the first time in 17 years. Ratings at the venerable Sunday public affairs show recently hit a 20-year low.




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