The ownership merry-go-round continues at major theme parks. The ink had barely dried on Tuesday's sale closing of Busch Entertainment Corp. (which runs the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks, among others) to The Blackstone Group when Comcast announced its plans to purchase NBC Universal today for a cool $30 billion. That wrests control of the Universal theme parks from General Electric and places it in the hands of the company that provides much of the cable television service in the U.S. (Insert your own joke here about how the mega cable company, infamous for its less-than-stellar customer service, will manage the wait times at Universal's attractions.)
The deal would also give Comcast ownership of Universal's movie business, the NBC network, and myriad cable networks under the NBC Universal umbrella making the company an incredible entertainment hulk that would control a huge swath of the creative content that it provides. Industry insiders have speculated that Comcast might want to shed the theme parks, which are a relatively small part of the deal and not part of its core business.