Did you catch the 30 Rock season debut last week? Jerry Seinfeld storms into the office of NBC studio boss Jack Donaghy, played brilliantly by Alec Baldwin. Seinfeld is steaming over a bogus concept called "SeinfeldVision" that digitally inserts the former NBC sitcom star into several fledgling NBC shows.

When Donaghy says there's nothing he can do about it, Seinfeld counters that he'll purchase the network and transform 30 Rockefeller Plaza into the biggest Lane Bryant in New York City. Donaghy laughs off the threat and tells Seinfeld he can't do it unless he just happens to have $4 million lying around to buy NBC.

Obviously, the $4 million figure is a zinger, but we may know how much NBC is truly worth in a few months, now that General Electric (NYSE:GE) is apparently entertaining the notion of selling its majority stake in NBC Universal.

Yesterday's Financial Times reports that GE will unload its entertainment subsidiary, but only after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are completed next summer. The company isn't confirming the story, though the timeline makes sense. GE has plenty to gain by sticking around for the Olympics, since the exposure could help forge business relationships with rapidly growing Chinese companies that may eventually become buyers of GE's industrial-strength products.

There's more to NBC Universal than just the NBC network, of course. We're talking about the Universal movie studio, the theme parks, CNBC, and its MSNBC joint venture with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Is it odd to hear about CNBC's parent putting itself up for sale just as News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) is days away from launching its own business channel? Is a healthy first week in the ratings book putting a little swagger in NBC's step?

The speculation is that NBC Universal may be worth as much as $40 billion. A few more hits this season, along with some success in the company's bold online initiatives, may very well prop the price higher by the time China's ready to extinguish the Olympic torch.

Whether GE finds itself spinning off the network, selling it to private equity, or carving it into pieces to appease hungry rivals such as CBS (NYSE:CBS), Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), or Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC, NBC is going to bear watching a little more closely this season.

Yes, even if you can't appreciate the sitcom antics of 30 Rock, stick around to see the "For Sale" notice, at least. It should be good ...

For sale: Once-proud peacock. It lost Friends but found Heroes. Please bid generously.

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