Comcast Buying DreamWorks Animation for $3.8B as It Expands Its Reach
As more cable customers cut their connections and move to streaming video, Comcast looks to find new revenue in a changing market.Comcast is acquiring DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion as the longtime cable company continues to build its future by adding complementary businesses to steady it as the future of cable television remains unfocused. The deal, which was announced April 28, brings together Comcast with the powerful DreamWorks nameplate, which has produced a wide range of popular animated films, including Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. The merger brings huge opportunities for content streaming to Comcast, which like other cable companies, is seeing its business impacted by customers who are replacing their cable connections with streaming video and original programming from services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. The DreamWorks acquisition is being made by Comcast's NBCUniversal division, which was itself acquired by Comcast in stages in 2011 and 2013. DreamWorks Animation, which creates animated feature films, television series and specials, live entertainment events and related consumer products, will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development, according to Comcast. "DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal," Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal, said in a statement. "Jeffrey Katzenberg [the CEO and co-founder of DreamWorks] and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come."
Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media and will serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal, according to the companies.