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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

GE: Can NBC Go Digital?


One of the problems with GE’s stock over the last five years is that the company has been a steady performer, but has not been considered a part of the new digital and internet age. In many ways the perception is off base, but the GE name is not usually matched with hot new advancements the way that Google or Cisco are. GE’s media arm, NBC Universal, has been considered a bastion of old media without any big “new media” scores like the News Corp acquisition of MySpace.

Now, it seems that NBC Universal is trying to sneak up on Wall St. It has set the ambitious goal of more than doubling its revenue from internet and digital initiatives to $1 billion by 2009, according to Reuters. Who even knew that the company had several hundred million in revenue from these initiative now?

NBC is launching a new group dubbed “nbbc”. The new business will syndicate NBC video to websites and collect licensing and advertising fees in the process.

It’s a great idea, but a little late to the game. It may be that there is some major media video library that is not being put onto the web as a new outlet for revenue, but it would be hard to name it. Virtually every studio and every television network is dumping content onto platforms like iTunes, Google video, AOL video, and Yahoo!Entertainment. And, it’s getting crowded.

Someone may double their digital revenue between now and 2009. It is really only two years. But, as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, someone will be left out in the rain.

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