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NBCU seeks to match rivals’ int’l revenues

NBCUniversal will seek to bring its domestic to international revenue split in line with rival US media giants 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company in the next decade.

Steve BurkeNBCU CEO and senior executive VP of parent Comcast Steve Burke said NBCU made around 20% of its revenues from the international market, which was “much lower” than its rivals. Comcast is the US’s leading cable provider, meaning there has been a heavy focus on domestic revenues.

“Obviously with [media] growth all over the world, but particularly in places like China, India and Latin America, you want to have a higher percentage of your revenue and your business coming from overseas,” said Burke.

“There are very few companies that have US$150 billion market cap that have so little of their revenue coming from outside of the United States, so we see it as a huge opportunity.”

He pointed to the fact Universal Pictures movie Fast and Furious 7 was the highest-grossing American movie of all time in China, as an indicator of the potential. NBCU also today secured a multi-year distribution agreement with new Chinese SVOD platform Tmall Box Office.

“Whether it’s M&A activity or organic growth, international is a huge opportunity for us and it’s something that I think you’ll see us pursue over the next five or ten years,” he added.

NBCU’s globally-focused television assets include channels arm Universal Networks International, production wing NBCUniversal International Studios and programming sales wing NBCUniversal International Distribution.

Elsewhere in an interview in front of delegates at the Bank of American Merrill Lynch Media Communications & Entertainment Conference, Burke appeared to agree with FX Networks president John Landgraf, who recently grabbed headlines by suggesting there was too much high-end scripted programming being made.

“There is an almost insatiable demand for great video professionally produced great video programming,” he said, adding: “The amount of money people are willing to pay for those series and pay for those series right away not having to wait the traditional four or five years that we used to have to wait encourages ourselves and others to take those creative swings.”

However, Burke said: “My bet is that the sheer volume will not continue to increase at the pace it has. I think people are starting to feel and realize that there is been too much here.”