An interesting article in Ad Age reveals that part of the deal between GE and Comcast that give Comcast a controlling interest in NBC Universal requires GE to keep advertising on NBCU properties for five years after the deal closes. GE will have to pony up a minimum commitment of $59 million dollars annually on gross advertising. It also requires GE purchase an additional $50 million worth of advertising in connection with the 2012 olympics.
At the minimum levels of $59 million/year, it would be much less than what GE is currently spending advertising on NBCU properties. According to TNS Media, GE spent $145.9 million advertising on NBCU properties in just the first nine months of 2009. And that's down almost 17 percent versus the first nine months of 2008.