NBC Universal to Acquire Oxygen Media

NBC Universal is acquiring Oxygen Media, a cable television network focused on programming for women, for approximately $925 million.
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NBC Universal is acquiring Oxygen Media, a cable television network focused on programming for women, for approximately $925 million. The Peacock network said the deal complements NBCU’s interest in building a broader female audience.

Jeff Zucker, president and CEO, NBC Universal said, “This acquisition increases our foothold in the advertiser-coveted young, upscale, female demographic, and perfectly complements our current roster of cable channels and plays to our strength of running and operating cable networks.”

The network, which is available in more than 74 million homes, was launched in 2000 to fill a void in the television landscape—creating a network targeted to younger women. It was founded by current Chairman and CEO Geraldine Laybourne along with Oprah Winfrey and television producers Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach.

Oxygen joins NBC Universal’s cable entertainment networks, which includes USA Network, Bravo, SciFi, CNBC and MSNBC.

Excluding financial assets, the net cost of the deal is about $875 million. The company anticipates the deal, expected to close in November, will add to earnings after the first full year. NBC Universal expects revenue and cost savings of about $35 million in 2008.

Derek Baine, a media analyst for SNL Kagan told The New York Times, “NBC made a great deal.” Baine estimated the value of the channel at about $1.1 billion.

NBC Universal is selling its two independent Telemundo television stations to fund the deal: KWHY in Los Angeles, one of its two Spanish-language stations in that city, and WKAQ in Puerto Rico.