The cable giant is interested in acquiring all of the Universal Orlando resort in Florida, in news that was originally reported by entertainment blog The Wrap but confirmed on Tuesday by The Orlando Sentinel.
Comcast already had a 50% stake in Universal Orlando -- which includes the Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure theme parks, CityWalk entertainment complex, and three third-party managed hotels -- through its NBCUniversal acquisition.
This wasn't necessarily Comcast's idea. Blackstone
Comcast's price tag will reportedly be as much as $1.5 billion. That may be a hefty sum, but Comcast really couldn't afford to lose the resort. NBCUniversal owns its original California park outright, and if Comcast wants to challenge Disney
Regional amusement park operators Cedar Fair
Universal Orlando has settled into a good groove these days. Attendance soared 20% last year, fueled by the turnstile-twirling excitement over the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A change in ownership could've threatened the licensed attractions and rumored expansion, but all will be as smooth as frozen butterbeer once Comcast no longer needs to consult with its other partner.
Why did Blackstone even present this ultimatum? Maybe it just wanted the resort all to itself. Blackstone will open a Legoland theme park an hour's drive away from Universal Orlando in October, and it also owns the nearby Sea World and Busch Gardens attractions.
Things will definitely get interesting between the two theme-park mavens. Disney and Comcast have had a lucrative relationship in cable programming for years, but all is fair in love and war when turnstile clicks are involved.
Is Comcast making the right decision, or should it not be doubling down in Florida? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves hitting amusement parks with his family over the summer. He does own shares in Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.