When Comcast purchased NBCUniversal the belief of many was that the real prize of the acquisition was the suite of cable networks rather than the old man broadcast network in the room, NBC. While that still may be true, Comcast isn’t going to let NBC slink off into the abyss without a fight. In an earnings call with top executives Brian Roberts and Steve Burke, Comcast announced that they will spend $200 million more this year on NBC’s primetime schedule than General Electric did last year when it was the controlling owner of the network
In addition to the big dollars being spent on the mothership, Roberts and Burke also announced that over $100 million more this year on programming NBCUniversal’s cable networks. This was quite evident earlier in the week when USA announced its current development slate which includes eight dramas and five comedies as well as an expansion of its reality programming and potentially a daily talk show. The move into comedy will help accompany USA’s acquisition of reruns of ABC’s “Modern Family,” which will begin airing in Fall 2013. “After five years as the No. 1 cable network, our development goal must be not only to do great new shows with original voices, but also to push the envelope of audience expectations,” network co-president Jeff Wachtel said in a statement. “This new slate speaks to both of those objectives.” USA continues to push the boundaries of the prototypical cable network and edges ever closer to the realm of the broadcast juggernauts.