Universal, Sea World, and Queen Mary

There’s a lot of news relating to NBC Universal lately.

Soon, Vivendi can change (as in sell some or all) its 20% stake in NBC Universal; the rest is currently owned by General Electric. This is a big reason why Comcast is in talks to get involved. Whether GE will maintain 80% or get out completely remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Blackstone, which owns half of the Universal Orlando venture as well as other theme park properties, is said to be close to purchasing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s theme parks (Sea World, Busch Gardens). Here is the Wall Street Journal article and here is New York Times take. I wrote about this in my column earlier this year.

More information is out on development plans Universal has for their “Hollywood” property – in the Los Angeles Times and in the Los Angeles Daily News.

And finally… unrelated to the rest of this post… the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, has a new operator. The attraction used to be managed by Disney, as part of the purchase of the Wrather company, which owned the Disneyland Hotel. Around the time that Disney released initial plans to upgrade Disneyland from a single theme park and hotel to two theme parks and multiple hotels, Disney had also released plans to build a theme park and more at the Long Beach site, a concept that was later put to use as DisneySea in Tokyo. But Disney ended up getting out of Long Beach, and the Queen Mary operation has been be troubled ever since.