Providence Equity Partners bought a 10% stake in the NBC/NewsCorp ‘YouTube ripoff’ JV for $100 million, valuing the new entity at $1 billion. The JV still doesn’t have a name, but is tentatively called “New Site.” The wizards at Providence, NewsCorp or NBC can’t find an analyst to staff on this one?
Rupert’s been too busy deciding what to rename the Journal (we’re banking on The Weekly Lessening Of Standards) to come up with anything groundbreaking. It seems like the JV could budget for a branding consultant or childlike empress within that startup capital somewhere.
Whatever happens, the real question is whether NewsCorp and NBC can get along, considering the track record of media JVs between competing companies with polarized ideologies. More, from the New York Times:
The sizable investment from Providence Equity Partners may not quell doubts that the two big media companies will get along. Ventures where decision-making is split between two parties with diverging agendas often struggle (even though NewsCorp takes two steps forward, NBC takes two steps back, they come together, ’cause opposites attract), and the News Corporation and NBC Universal doggedly compete on TV and in theaters. Roger McNamee, a partner at private equity firm Elevation Partners, said there were few examples in business history where joint ventures succeeded. “The simple question is, are they organizing for success?” he said.
The new site will have an impressive library of franchises including the Simpsons, SNL, 24, Heroes and Manimal. Now you can finally watch that impossible to access “Dick in a Box” video.
Equity Firm Invests in NBC Universal-News Corp. Online Venture [New York Times]