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Comcast grows in Q4, buys the rest of NBCUniversal and rolls out more new DVRs


It's been a busy day for Comcast, so we'll catch you up on the key points. First, it announced today that it's buying the 49 percent of NBCUniversal that it didn't already own from General Electric in a deal worth about $16.7 billion, plus 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC's New Jersey headquarters for an additional $1.4 billion. That's an acceleration of the original schedule, which gave Comcast the option to expand its ownership starting in 2014. In other news, Comcast reported its Q4 earnings, noting that while it still lost around 7,000 cable TV customers in Q4, the total number of video, internet and phone subscribers rose by 503,000 to a total of 51.3 million, up 3 percent from last year.

In other news, Comcast announced expansions in its rollout of the new X1 DVR platform. Already live in areas of Georgia, New Jersey, Boston, Tennessee, San Francisco and Philadelphia, it's recently launched in Colorado Springs, CO with more promised in the coming months. It also locked down a deal with Fox that covers local broadcasts, cable TV networks and brings a number of the network's shows to Xfinity streaming apps and services on other platforms. That deal also reveals that Fox will soon add TV Everywhere authenticated streaming to its Fox Now apps, which Comcast customers will be able to access. There's an earnings call tomorrow where we may find out more details, for now you can look after the break and at the links below for the full press releases.

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Comcast to Acquire General Electric's 49% Common Equity Ownership Interest in NBCUniversal

PHILADELPHIA, Feb 12, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Comcast Corporation CMCSA +7.62% CMCSK +5.27% announced today it will acquire GE's entire 49% common equity stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture for approximately $16.7 billion. Also, NBCUniversal will purchase from GE the properties used by NBCUniversal at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ for approximately $1.4 billion. The acquisition accelerates GE's divestiture ahead of a redemption period that would have begun in July 2014 and solidifies Comcast's position as a leading media and technology company. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of this year.

"This is an exciting day for Comcast as we have agreed to accelerate the purchase of NBCUniversal. The management team at GE has been a wonderful partner during the past two years and their support has been very valuable. Our decision to acquire GE's ownership is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects of NBCUniversal and our desire to capture future value that we hope to create for our shareholders," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation. "We believe the terms of the transaction are attractive and have planned for this event by taking a number of financial steps to prepare our balance sheet. We believe we are in a strong and unique position to continue to grow and build value in our combined company."

The transactions will be funded with $11.4 billion of cash on hand, $4.0 billion of subsidiary senior unsecured notes to be issued to GE, $2.0 billion of borrowings under Comcast and/or subsidiary bank credit facilities and $725 million of subsidiary preferred stock to be issued to GE.

Morgan Stanley was financial advisor to Comcast and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP was the Company's legal advisor.

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