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NBC Universal profits despite iTunes, strike

updated 04:55 pm EST, Fri January 18, 2008

NBC Universal Profit 4Q07

Media giant NBC Universal has had "record performance" in 2007, according to statements by its chief executive Jeff Zucker. Profit for the past year amounted to $923 million on revenue of $2.1 billion and represented a 10 percent jump over the year before. Most of this increase is attributed to success from its cable and film businesses, which include networks such as CNBC and Sci-Fi as well as major movie releases such as The Bourne Ultimatum. This was despite the firm enjoying already increased successes from broadcasts such as the 2006 Olympics, Zucker noted to employees in an e-mail sent to the company.

The senior studio official also commented that this came in spite of a screenwriters' strike that affected roughly nine weeks of 2007. Although the lack of fresh content for some shows triggered a steep drop in the willingness of advertisers to remain onboard, a payout of $500,000 per advertiser kept their ad revenue in place, Zucker said. Careful management of scripts will also let the movie and TV divisions continue significantly into 2008 without damage to the company's bottom line.

The success puts into context NBC Universal's decision to scrap iTunes sales after a pricing dispute between itself and Apple. The former has not published its 2007 TV show sales from the online service but only made $15 million from iTunes over the last year of sales before the dispute became public in October.

NBC Universal has since pinned its hopes for online video through Hulu, its ad-sponsored web streaming service, as well as by switching its downloadable video content to smaller offerings such as SanDisk's Fanfare.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005



    Their downloads profit represented around 1.6% of their total profit. I don't know about Zucker but I would never turn money away. It is not like they replaced that revenue with something even remotely as successful...

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    fat profits

    but they can't share any web revenue with the writers, huh?

  1. Arty50

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2000


    ^ Exactly

    That's a 44% margin. That's insanely good.

    Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works.

  1. macuserssmelllikebum

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2006


    writers, lol

    To guys like Zucker and the rest of the board, writers are bootlicking shitsacks who better shut the f*** up or go back to flipping burgers.

    The guys making all the money are so far removed from that kind of Joe Blow that they could never conceive of sharing a washroom, much less any of their precious cash.

  1. VValdo

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: May 2001


    Also, I wonder..

    ...what kind of creative accounting might be used... Big corporations have been known to hide bad news from investors, but they can only do it for so long...

    Are you all familiar with NBC's co-chair Ben Silverman's remark re: the writer refusal to give a waiver for the Golden Globes?

    "Sadly, it feels like the nerdiest, ugliest, meanest kids in the high school are trying to cancel the prom. But NBC wants to try to keep that prom alive."

    Speaks for itself.


  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005



    With some creative accounting, and cleverly worded soundbytes, pretty much anything Universal does can be considered as 'profitable'.

    Reality will eventually catch up with them -- just about at the time when they crawl back to iTunes. Should be right around the time they announce dropping HD-DVD, and right around when Hulu clams shut...

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    iTunes rentals

    Universal kept selling its stuff in iTunes stores until the end of 2007. Let's return here a year later, in which Universal won't be enjoying iTunes movie rental service (which I bet will become successful) and maybe won't pull some major movie release.

  1. chulitomio

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004



    ONLY 15 million.

    Total, abysmal failure.

  1. kes601

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005


    re: viktorcode

    While you are right Apple kept selling the NBC Universal stuff on iTunes until the end of 2007, you are incorrect about Universal not being part of the rental service. Watch the keynote, they are on board with it.

  1. Beechlady

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006



    This must leave a bad taste in the mouths of the anchors (John Seigenthaler for one) that were let go because of monetary restructuring a year ago. So, which is it? Typical Jeff Zucker comments. Talks out of both sides of his mouth. I for one don't believe anything he has to say.

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