Comcast's $16.7 billion deal to buy the remaining half of NBCUniversal ahead of schedule represents a resounding vote of confidence in the future of TV, even as Internet video reshapes the entertainment landscape.
The decision was driven largely by Comcast Corp.'s belief that it would end up paying substantially more for General Electric Co.'s remaining 49 percent stake if it had waited until 2018, as had been envisioned in 2011 when Comcast acquired majority control of NBCUniversal.
The flagship NBC network, once seen as the deal's albatross, has been on the turnaround. As the advertising market has rebounded with the economy, so have the fortunes of NBCUniversal and other network owners.
That made the latest transaction, announced Tuesday, seem like a savvy one at a relatively modest price.
Liedtke reported from San Francisco.