January 13, 2016 |
With on-demand streamers Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu capturing large audiences for general-interest entertainment, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has ripped a page from cable's playbook with the niche comedy channel Seeso.com. NBCUniversal says its model of a specialized online channel with Seeso is like cable networks that cater to sports or music fans. If Seeso works, NBCUniversal expects to launch other pay-per-month streamed genre channels. "The consumer is telling us that this is a no-brainer," Evan Shapiro, NBCUniversal's executive vice president of digital enterprise, said Monday of Seeso, which he said he considered supplementary entertainment to Netflix as a "comedy channel for comedy nerds.
December 28, 2015 |
Cesar Conde, the head of Comcast-owned Telemundo network, peppers his conversation with references to popular American cable shows Homeland and Breaking Bad , and says it feels like a new era in Spanish-language TV. There is, Conde said, "a tectonic shift taking place in Hispanic media. " And Philadelphia's Comcast - which acquired the also-ran Telemundo network as part of its $30 billion deal for NBCUniversal in 2011 - is aiming to be a big part of it. The nation's cable giant, with tentacles all over the media landscape, is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to take on the No. 1 Spanish-language network, Univision, by developing faster-paced Americanized dramas, locking up the TV rights to World Cup Soccer into the 2020s, and launching live local newscasts in big TV markets, such as Philadelphia.
December 22, 2015
In the Region Spark stock sales raise $88.4M Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics , which hopes to make money from gene therapy treatments for rare diseases, said it has raised $88.4 million by selling two million shares of stock. Spark was spun out of the nonprofit Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , which joined in last week's sale by selling one million shares, worth $44.2 million. The hospital, through its foundation, remains the largest stockholder. Spark's most-advanced compound, SPK-RPE65, is new genetic material injected into the eye to treat rare blinding conditions.
December 9, 2015 |
Comcast Ventures, the venture arm of Comcast Corp., has taken an investment stake in its third virtual reality company, Baobab Studios, and intends to put money into others. A Comcast Ventures executive compared virtual reality to the "early days of mobile" and said that it could make viewing sports or movies a more immersive experience, which could benefit Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company and owner of NBCUniversal. Wired magazine recently reported that film studios have been experimenting with virtual reality, while Facebook, Google, Samsung and Sony are developing virtual reality headsets.
September 27, 2015 |
Unionized cameramen and technicians picketed NBC10's offices in Bala Cynwyd on the eve of one of this year's biggest TV events in Philadelphia - Pope Francis' weekend visit. An NBCUniversal official said early Friday evening that the media company was talking with the union. If the labor dispute is not resolved, NBC10 intends to use footage from other NBC stations or freelancers in Philadelphia covering Pope Francis, she said. Frank Keel, a spokesman for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, which represents the NBC10 employees, said he was unaware of Friday bargaining between the union and NBCUniversal, describing the situation as "status quo. " There are about 65 striking employees.
September 14, 2015 |
Dennis Griffin was talking tee times. Some afternoons, he can slip away for a quick 18 holes. "The sweet spot in Brigantine for me is around 1 in the afternoon, when you have a 60 percent savings," the long-term-care insurance salesman said. At his Little Egg Harbor home, Griffin, 60, logged on to the website for Comcast Corp.-owned GolfNow and browsed tee times for that day at Brigantine Golf Links, about 40 minutes away. He read off the possibilities: a 2 o'clock for $46.48; a slot at 1:52 for $35.98.
September 1, 2015 |
Mike Cavanagh, one of the nation's top banking executives at JPMorgan Chase and now Comcast Corp.'s new chief financial officer, says the Philadelphia company's biggest "enemy" is complacency, hoping that consumer trends won't change and that Comcast remains the big cable company. Comcast's destiny is "in our hands," Cavanagh said at the Comcast Center last week. He added, "All businesses have to modify their game to be relevant to millennials. " A protege of the legendary banker Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan, Cavanagh joined Comcast in May after Comcast lost its publicly deflating regulatory battle for Time Warner Cable Inc. He replaces the transformative CFO Michael Angelakis, who negotiated the successful deal for NBCUniversal and the abandoned takeover of Time Warner Cable.
August 14, 2015 |
Taking a bigger stake in a fast-growing new digital media company, Comcast Corp.-owned NBCUniversal will invest $200 million into Vox Media, whose brands include SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, Eater, Racked, Curbed, and Re/code. In 2014, The Verge published a scathing multi-part series on Comcast's woeful customer service. "Vox Media has a great portfolio of premium digital brands that deeply engage broad audiences," NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said in a statement. Comcast previously owned a 14 percent stake in Vox through its ventures arm. Even with the new investment, Comcast will still own a minority stake in Vox Media, an industry observer said.
August 6, 2015 |
Though still separated by a parking lot at the stadium complex in South Philadelphia, the Flyers and Phillies got a bit closer digitally on Tuesday. The National Hockey League and Major League Baseball Advanced Media Tuesday announced a six-year, $600 million deal under which the baseball league's technology subsidiary will run the operations of the hockey league's TV network, and the websites and other digital platforms of the league and its 30 teams, including the Flyers. The NHL and its teams will retain control of the content on the TV network and websites.
August 6, 2015 |
Responding to criticism that its discounted Internet Essentials service was available only to poor families with school-age children, Comcast Corp. said Tuesday that it would expand the $9.95-a-month program to low-income senior citizens. Comcast will begin the project for senior citizens in Palm Beach County, Fla., and expand it to other markets throughout the United States through the fall, said David Cohen, executive vice president at Comcast. The date of expansion into the Philadelphia area will be determined by the success in pilot markets, Comcast said.