Universal, Inc., was created on September 9, 1926 by the
Radio Corporation of America (RCA) as the National Broadcasting
Company, Inc., and began its operations on November 15, 1926.
NBC managed the radio stations of RCA, General Electric Company
(GE), Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company and
American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T).
1, 1927 the Blue network, the second NBC network, began
broadcasting while the network created in 1926 was renamed
the Red network. The Red network broadcasted the most popular
shows while the Blue network carried more cultured programs.
Also that same day, NBC made the first coast to coast network
broadcast. During a short period of time there was the
Orange network, which at the star of the 1930s was renamed
the Pacific network, which broadcasted shows from the Red
network and the Blue network to the west coast. Meantime,
the international short wave network was called the White
In 1933, NBC
moved to its headquarters in the RCA Building (now GE Building)
in the Rockefeller Center. On April 30, 1939 NBC started
its first regular TV service although it wasn´t until
1941 when WNBT (now WNBC) obtained the first commercial television
license. WNBT began its broadcasts on July 1st, 1941. Also
in 1941 the FCC decreed that no owner could operate more
than one network and NBC was forced to divest itself of one
of its networks. In 1943, NBC sold its Blue network to Edward
J. Noble, which in 1945 was renamed ABC, American Broadcasting
Company. On November 17, 1946 NBC television resumed its
broadcasts. On January 14, 1952 morning television began
with the launch of Today. In 1953 NBC broadcasted its first
programme in color using the NTSC system, developed by RCA,
although it wasn´t until 1965 when NBC broadcasted
all its programs in color. In 1984 it began broadcasting
in stereo and on September 1988 NBC sold its radio network
and its own radio stations to Westwood One exiting the radio
business and focusing exclusively on the television business
(later, NBC Radio was merged with Mutual, which closed at
the beginning of 1998 and that same year, Westwood One bought
In the 1990´s,
NBC expanded into cable and launched its international channels.
On April 17, 1989 it launched the Consumer News Business
Channel (CNBC) and on May 21, 1991 it merged CNBC with the
Financial News Network renaming it CNBC. In 1993 it bought
the European channel SuperChannel (which was renamed NBC
SuperChannel and now it´s NBC Europe) and in July 1996,
in partnership with Microsoft, it launched MSNBC. Also in
1996, NBC began broadcasting CNBC Europe, NBC Asia and CNBC
Asia and in 1998 in partnership with Dow Jones & Co.
they combined their financial news channels outside US. Finally,
in 2002, NBC acquired the US Spanish-language broadcaster
Telemundo and the cable channel Bravo.
On October 8,
2003, General Electric Company ("GE"), National
Broadcasting Company Holding, Inc., National Broadcasting
Company, Inc. ("NBC"), Universal Studios Holding
III Corp. and Vivendi Universal entered into a Business Combination
Agreement and related agreements providing for the combination
of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment LLLP ("VUE")
(owner of the movie and television business of Vivendi Universal)
to form a new company to be called NBC Universal, Inc. ("NBC
On May 11, 2004,
all the transactions were completed, leading to the creation
of NBC Universal, Inc. Vivendi Universal received €8,002
million (€3,073 million in cash and
€4,929 million in the form of a 20% interest in NBC Universal).
Vivendi Universal initially holds three out of 15 seats on
the board of directors of NBCU.
with the Business Combination Agreement, Vivendi Universal
contributed all the capital stock of Universal Studios, Inc.
("Universal"), to a subsidiary of NBC. Previously,
all the music entities owned by Universal, were transferred
to Universal Studios Holding I Corp. In addition, Vivendi
Universal expanded VUE’s relationship with DreamWorks
Pictures for seven years, and Universal Music Group acquired
DreamWorks Records for €94 million in January 2004.
on June 7, 2005, IAC/InterActiveCorp. sold its 5.44% common
interest and its preferred interests in VUE to NBC Universal
for total consideration of approximately $3.4 billion.
is owned by General Electric Company (80%), Vivendi Universal
S.A. (18.5%) and Matsushita Electronic Industrial Co. Ltd.
of NBC Universal: