In 2004, Vivendi Universal sold a majority of Universal Entertainment to General Electric who combined it with NBC to create a company which was owned 80 percent by GE and 20 percent by Vivendi. NBC Universal was created on May 11, 2004.
The logo came into use on the same day. It was an amalgam of the NBC and Universal logos. It featured the names NBC and Universal written in all-caps with a Copperplate-like font. Between the two names were the NBC peacock, and this was all enclosed by the outline of a globe, which had been used by Universal businesses for some time.
The logo is still used as a secondary along with the primary 2011 logo.
In December 2009, it was announced that an agreement had been reached to sell a majority of the company to Comcast. NBC Universal would merge with Comcast's programming interests and would be owned 51 percent be the cable company, with GE retaining a 49 percent share. The deal was cleared by regulators in January 2011, and Vivendi soon sold its share of the company to GE. The deal was closed on January 28, and the "new" NBCUniversal Inc. was created. (Comcast would acquire GE's 49-percent stake of NBCUniversal in 2013.)
During a employee "town hall" meeting on January 27, 2011, were the effects of the Comcast's aquisition of NBC Universal were discussed, a new logo for the media company was unveiled. The new logo, colored in violet, was simplified and removed the NBC peacock and the Universal globe outline. It was reported that executives found the old logo "busy". A voice-over from the logo presentation explained, "We aren't a family of two favorite sons, rather one filled with talented people and companies all tied for first."
The NBC peacock is still used for Comcast, the NBC network, as well as for television channels CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, and associated NBC businesses. The new wordmark was mainly intended for corporate use and it was reported that it would not usually be facing customers, although it has been seen in advertising for NBCUniversal's broadcast and cable television networks.
The new logo was created by Wolff Olins (the company behind the Unilever logo.), which also helped design a new type style on which the logo was based. Some people, however, preferred the old logo because there were already several similar logos.
See also Comcast NBCUniversal
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