Comcast is reportedly scouting 'new media' companies for deals

The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York July 1, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Thomson ReutersThe NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York

Cable giant Comcast is in early deal talks with various “new media” companies as it looks to boost its appeal among younger consumers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Comcast subsidiary, NBCUniversal, is in preliminary talks with several entities including Vice, which makes online video and TV programming, according to the report. Comcast has also had discussions with online publishers Buzzfeed and Business Insider, and has discussed increasing its existing 14% stake in Vox Media, the report said.

Comcast is “exploring” the landscape and considering everything from strategic investments to acquisitions to doing nothing at all, the report said.

Vice was most recently valued at $US2.5 billion according to media reports. The Wall Street Journal cited anonymous sources saying that Vice isn’t interested in being acquired but that Comcast could potentially take an equity stake in the company and create a Vice cable channel.

The report pointed to young people increasingly shunning the TV for online content as the main reason for Comcast’s interest in these media entities.

The median age of people watching prime time TV has been going up for years, while more and more people are turning into “cord-cutters,” the term for people who don’t subscribe to cable TV and consume content online instead.

We’ve reached out to Comcast for comment and will update if we hear back.

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