NBCUniversal is eyeing two of the biggest companies in the digital media world. According to Recode, NBCU is “close” to closing a pair of deals that would give it stake in both BuzzFeed and Vox Media.
Like many other companies that run big TV businesses, NBCU is trying to figure out how to negotiate a changing landscape in which many young people are cutting the cord and consuming the majority of their media intake online. BuzzFeed and Vox, which both feature youthful sensibilities and have many of the same visitors in common, can both help NBCU established a bigger digital presence.
Exact monetary values for the investments aren’t known, but Recode believes NBCU is considering a $1.5 billion valuation for BuzzFeed and an $850 million valuation for Vox. Both digital media publishers have raised big rounds of venture capital in the past year; BuzzFeed raised $50 million in August 2014, and Vox scored its own $46.5 million round three months later.
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As Recode suggests, an investment from a major media company like NBCU (which is itself owned by Comcast) could be huge for BuzzFeed, which is currently planning some longer-form content through its BuzzFeed Motion Pictures division. Just as an investment from A&E will give Vice Media its own TV channel, BuzzFeed could use NBCU’s investment to support a jump to TV and film.
Vox has its own big plans too. It has recently put an increased focus on video across owned-and-operated sites like The Verge, SB Nation, and Racked.
NBCU, BuzzFeed, and Vox all declined to comment on Recode’s report.