Revenue: $5.8 billion
“I think NBC in the GE world has been a very strong performer in an extremely difficult economic period,” NBC chairman-CEO Bob Wright said recently at the Television Critics Assn. tour.
Spring’s upfront sales market clearly proved his point. The net ended up with a record take near $2.7 billion — a new best for any broadcaster and up $800 million from its $1.9 billion tally last year.
Certainly the Peacock web was boosted by its performance during the 2001-02 season, during which it continued to rule as the No. 1 network among the key advertising demo of 18- to 49-year-olds. The net dominated in the morning and in latenight. The Winter Olympics were also a big ratings winner.
Although the web was late to jump on the reality TV bandwagon, under Jeff Zucker’s leadership, the net caught up fast. NBC’s foray into reality summer programming with shows like “Dog Eat Dog,” “Crime and Punishment” and “Spy TV” has paid off big in the ratings. Zucker took on more responsibilities in May when NBC removed Scott Sassa as its top West Coast entertainment exec.
Meanwhile, MSNBC and CNBC faced the worst advertising market since the introduction of cable television. But NBC maintains confidence in the two ventures.
The purchase of Telemundo gives NBC a firm stronghold in the Hispanic marketplace. It also holds an interest in Shop NBC; Pax; and Rainbow Media, the Cablevision-owned cable nets.