NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke sent a letter to the network’s staff today, laying out the rationale for Comcast’s rival bid for much of 21st Century Fox.
At a time of dramatic industry change, Burke said Fox’s film and television assets would broaden Comcast’s global reach and enhance NBCUniversal’s portfolio of film franchises, cable networks and sports holdings.
“We are now presented with a rare opportunity to add complementary, well-performing assets to our existing portfolio, laying the foundation for new growth opportunities,” Burke said in the staff memo. “Our experience with and passion for these businesses, coupled with our track record of successful integrations, makes us confident that we are the right home for the Fox assets.”
Here’s the full memo, as posted to the SEC’s website:
I want to follow up on yesterday’s exciting news that we have bid to acquire 21st Century Fox assets and share what this means from an NBCUniversal perspective.
First, I want to take a moment to let all of you know how proud I am of our company and the job you are doing. The fact that we are in a position to make this offer is a direct result of your collective effort, commitment and the success we have achieved together.
All of our businesses are performing very well, even in the face of challenging industry dynamics. When we started on this journey seven years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that we would be the fastest-growing media company in the United States, but we are, and this does not happen by accident.
We are now presented with a rare opportunity to add complementary, well-performing assets to our existing portfolio, laying the foundation for new growth opportunities. Our experience with and passion for these businesses, coupled with our track record of successful integrations, makes us confident that we are the right home for the Fox assets.
Clearly, the media landscape is changing. Against this backdrop, we firmly believe in the long-term success of the content business. More video is being consumed across more platforms than ever before and that means more opportunity for premium, professionally produced content.
As the market becomes increasingly global, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand our international footprint. This transaction would increase the percentage of Comcast’s revenue from international operations from 9% to 27%.
Adding Fox’s attractive assets would also enable us to diversify our content and broaden our offerings to include some great properties that are a terrific fit for NBCUniversal, such as:
· Major movie and TV production studios
· Overseas rights for some of the world’s most popular sports, including the Premier League
· Attractive networks such as FX and National Geographic
· Entertainment franchises likeDeadpool, Avatar, and X-Men
· Animated properties like The Simpsons and Family Guy
· An increased ownership stake in Hulu
On the distribution side, Fox owns some outstanding platforms that could play a significant role in driving our future growth. We would add emerging over-the-top platforms in Europe, Latin America, and India to go along with Sky, one of the U.K.’s leading satellite-TV and broadband providers. If we consummate this transaction, our company will be #1 in content and distribution in the United States, Europe, India and Latin America.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that we will complete this transaction and we have a long road ahead of us. The same is true for our existing bid for Sky, which continues to move along on a separate track. The good news is that regardless of the outcomes, we are very well positioned for the future.
Brian loves NBCU and our businesses and we should thank him for his support, vision, and leadership. His dedication, trust and commitment to our continued success has been key to getting us to the enviable position we are in today.
On a personal note, I celebrated my 20thanniversary with Comcast last week and it occurred to me that this is the most exciting time in my career with the company. In addition to these two pending deals, we are kicking off a great summer, with World Cup on Telemundo starting today and Jurassic World’s domestic debut around the corner. This is a real moment for our company to shine.
Thank you all for helping to get us where we are and here’s to looking forward to the next chapter!
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