Saturday, December 24, 2005 - NBC, Microsoft Start Unwinding Cable-TV Pact - NBC, Microsoft Start Unwinding Cable-TV Pact "The companies didn't disclose the terms of the transaction, and GE doesn't break out results for the channel. But MSNBC takes in between $275 million and $300 million in subscriber fees annually and an additional $100 million in advertising revenue, according to a person familiar with its operations. The channel is profitable, even without Microsoft's annual contribution to the venture of $30 million to $35 million, say people close to the channel. Moreover, it has special value to NBC because it allows its news division to toggle back and forth between its network and cable news outlets, a luxury its rivals don't possess.
Microsoft will maintain its 50% stake in, the cable channel's successful online sibling. In November, the site was the second-most-visited news site on the Web, behind Yahoo News, according to Nielsen NetRatings Inc."

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