While others are getting out of the TV production business, Vivendi Universal Chairman and CEO Jean-Marie Messier told reporters Tuesday that he is looking rebuild the studio's TV assets.
Four years ago, Universal Studios' former owner Seagram Co. sold off most of the rights to the studio's domestic TV division to Barry Diller who in turn started USA Networks. Vivendi Universal currently holds a 43% ownership stake in USA Networks and, sources say, holds the rights to buy back the majority of the former Universal division.
"Our relationship with USA Networks will move in the coming months," Messier said on a conference call discussing his company's third-quarter results. "I want to make sure that we don't leave money on the table by leveraging Universal's success on the movie side for TV production and distribution." - Joe Schlosser