NBC closing international channels and cutting jobs

NBC Universal is closing several of its international channels and has placed a group of its staff at risk of redundancy, DTVE sister publication TBI has learned.

Industry sources confirmed that NBC will close several of its networks. The channels are part of NBC Universals international television group, which is run by Kevin MacLellan.

Specifically, its channel division Universal Networks International will close general entertainment service Universal Channel in Japan, Greece and Turkey.

In Japan, NBCUniversal wants to focus on the other channels it runs in the country, Golf and its news network CNBC.
The Syfy channel in Russia will also close. Universal and Diva will still operate in Russia.

Between 20-and-25 positions are at risk of redundancy following the news of the closures.

The international closures and potential job losses follow reports last week of 450 job losses at NBC Universal in the US across its broadcast and cable TV and film divisions, but this is the first news of job losses at the international division.

NBC Universal was keen to underline recent channels deals with Brazilian pay TV operator Globosat, under the terms of which it rolled out Syfy and Studio Universal.

Earlier this month NBCUniversal also renewed a channel deal with BSkyB in the UK, securing the carriage of channels including Universal Channel, E! Entertainment, Syfy, The Style Network and Movies 24 on the pay TV platform.

Comcast and NBC Universal completed their merger in January 2011.

The Universal Networks bouquet comprises Syfy Universal, Diva Universal, Studio Universal, Universal Channel and 13th Street Universal, E! Entertainment, The Style Network, Golf Channel, Movies 24 and KidsCo.

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