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brand strategy

Comcast Hones In on Universal Theme Parks as Point of Significant Expansion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 04:43 PM

Comcast has set the TV world aflame in the last few years with its purchase of NBCUniversal and its yet-to-be-finalized deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. But there’s another industry that Comcast is looking to be a serious player in as well: theme parks.

Comcast, which already had $2.2 billion in revenue last year from its theme parks and resorts unit, isn’t shying away from horning in on the territory long dominated by Disney, either. The company's Universal Studios is “investing hundreds of millions of dollars into theme parks in California and Florida.” While it is investing in new attractions for its Universal Orlando Resorts, it also building “the largest hotel construction project in North America: [an] 1,800-room, 1960s-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort,” of which Comcast is sharing the bill with Loews Corp., the Philadephia Inquirer reports

Six hundred of the rooms will open this month, with the rest scheduled to open by year's end. With that, Universal will have 4,200 rooms, a 75 percent increase from the 2,400 it previously boasted, but NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says the complex could have between 10,000 and 15,000 hotel rooms in time.Continue reading...

viral buzz

Watch the Hollywood Ad That May Result in $2 Million Fines for US Broadcasters

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 7, 2014 11:23 AM

Everyone knows the shrill shriek of the US' emergency broadcasting system. And while it may be a drill, it's no joke. The FCC is looking to hit Viacom, ESPN, and NBCUniversal with fines for running ads last year for the film Olympus Has Fallen because the ad featured the emergency alert system tones.Continue reading...

brand partners

GE Teams Up With The Tonight Show to Make Science Cool

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2014 11:39 AM

Here's Jimmy! As Fallon readies to take The Tonight Show reins from Jay Leno tonight, he's bringing not only a fresh outlook on nighttime entertainment but also some new interesting partnerships. 

In its continued effort to broaden its brand appeal, General Electric has struck an unprecedented "multiplatform, integrated partnership" with the show in which it will sponsor in-show integrations with a segment titled "Tonight Show Fallonventions," in which the new host will feature three young inventors and their creations. 

It’s a double-edged deal for the $140 billion B2B congolmerate that is looking to spread its wings beyond business and into the direct-to-consumer world. Indeed, the move can also be seen in GE's newest ad, which features a child describing in fantastical ways what the company does, from building "underwater fans powered by the moon" to "hospitals you can hold in your hand."Continue reading...

brand take over

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger Could Spell Big Problems for Netflix, Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2014 12:07 PM

Following a failed takeover bid by Charter Communications, Comcast announced it would acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal for $45.2 billion. If the merger is approved by regulators, Comcast will return to its top spot as the largest cable operator in the world. 

The merger, which could send waves through various television networks, national sports markets, TV technology and streaming companies is already a cause for concern among consumers and other pay TV companies, including satellite television networks, as well as AT&T, Verizon and Google, all of whom have made inroads into the cable and internet-providing business. 

At about $159 per share, Comcast stands to adopt Time Warner Cable's 11 million pay TV customers, highly concentrated in Manhattan and Los Angeles, where it owns two sports networks and has lucrative deals with local sports teams. As part of the deal though, Comcast said it will divest about 3 million of TWC's customers to appease regulators. 

As far as Comcast is concered, gaining regulatory approval from the federal government, including the FCC, shouldn't be too hard since Comcast and TWC aren't actually direct competitors (as far as carved-up cable provider boundaries go). The approval would follow Comcast's nearly $17 billion buyout of NBCUniversal from GE last year.Continue reading...

media brands

AllThingsD Re/codes Tech Coverage with Independent Venture

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 2, 2014 05:53 PM

Following the break-up of their long-term relationship with the Wall Street Journal, AllThingsD founders and journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg have launched their new venture, Re/code

Focused on technology news and conferences, the new site is backed by NBCUniversal and Windsor Media, the investment company headed by former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, and operated under the newly-formed company, Revere Digital.

"Why have we chosen Re/code as the name for our new creation? Simply put: Because everything in tech and media is constantly being refreshed, renewed and reimagined. And this is the reinvention of ourselves," wrote Swisher and Mossberg on their new site.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Abercrombie and GM CEOs, Novartis Eyes Merck, and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2013 09:15 AM

Abercrombie & Fitch renews contract with CEO.

Boeing holds tax-breaks "bake-off" between states.

Chobani enters Super Bowl for first time.

Dr Pepper Snapple smells trouble with sewage in Houston.

GM names Mary Barra, industry's first female CEO, to succeed Dan Akerson, report says, while US loses $10.5 in bailout, which a study calls a financial success; meanwhile, company vacillates over ending Australia operations.

Jeep partners with NBCUniversal for Cherokee.

Kawasaki plants marketing seeds for '14.

Kia launches new Red Zone sub-brand for tuners.

Lululemon names new CEO as founder steps down as chairman. Continue reading...

tweet deal

Twitter Teams with NBCU, Comcast to Stream Live TV Through Tweets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2013 03:13 PM

Twitter's Amplify service allows programmers and advertisers to push real-time videos to Twitter users as they engage with on-air content, but now the microblogger is taking it one step further, striking a deal with NBCUniversal to allow subscribers to stream and record full shows directly from a tweet. 

The new "See It" feature, which will debut in November, will be available to the more than 24 million Comcast customers in the US, while a handful of other cable providers and even non-subscribers will also get access to abbreviated content, according to Mashable.

The deal also includes a more traditional Amplify partnership that will see real-time NBCU content as well as ad content inserted into tweets, much like other programmers including CBS, the NFL and Viacom are doing.

The See It feature that was designed by Comcast engineers will allow Twitter users to tune in immediately, according to a press release. NBC Sports Network will be the first to utilize the Amplify partnership, tweeting short clips of Premier League highlights that will be sponsored by General Electric. Beyond the NBCU partnership, the See It feature will allow users to set their DVRS and buy theater tickets through Fandango.Continue reading...

brand evolution

AllThingsD Team to Part Ways with Dow Jones at End of Year, Pursue Independent Venture

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 20, 2013 05:10 PM

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the founders and voices behind leading tech news site AllThingsD, are severing ties with owner Dow Jones after contract negotiations failed.

Profitable for 10 years, AllThingsD has established itself as a must-read for industry enthusiasts that revel in Mossberg's tech reviews and Swisher's Silicon Valley scoops. With eight million montly unique visitors and a widely-respected network of sold-out conferences, ATD has become a valuable brand for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, which will lose Mossberg's 20-year running tech column in the fallout.Continue reading...

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