Microsoft sheds control of its cable network

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 5:07 am

NBC Universal and Microsoft on Friday announced a deal in which the media conglomerate will purchase a controlling stake in the MSNBC cable channel.

Under the agreement, NBC Universal, a subsidiary of General Electric, will receive an 82 percent stake in the network, with the option of claiming the remaining 18 percent after two years. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

“Acquiring a controlling interest in MSNBC will allow us to fully integrate the channel into our News operations and our overall cable platform,” said NBC News President Steve Capus.

Microsoft initially invested $220 million ten years ago for a 50 percent stake in the Seacaucus, N.J.-based network, which launched in July 1996. But talks of dropping the venture have reportedly been brewing since at least March, as the channel’s performance wasn’t keeping up with Redmond’s expectations.

The two companies will continue to own equal shares of MSNBC.com, which continues to be a leader in the online news space.

Source: News.com


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