NBC Universal Nearing Another $200M Investment in BuzzFeed

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NBC Universal is nearing a deal to make a second $200 million investment in BuzzFeed, doubling its bet on the fast-growing digital publisher as the TV giant tries to reach younger audiences online, according to a person familiar with the matter.

NBC's latest investment would value BuzzFeed at about $1.7 billion, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Last year, Comcast Corp.'s TV and film division made separate $200 million investments in both BuzzFeed and Vox Media, the online publisher of The Verge, Eater and Recode.

BuzzFeed's latest valuation would put it in striking distance of New York Times Co.'s $1.86 billion market capitalization, underscoring the rise of the paperless publisher's rise since its founding a decade ago.

NBC's plans to make another $200 investment in BuzzFeed were first reported by Recode.

BuzzFeed has been expanding its video ambitions, exploring videos from its studio in Los Angeles and Chief Executive Officer Jonah Peretti has said he wants his media company to make television programming. With its content on NBC's broadcast and cable TV channels and access to NBC's Universal film studio, BuzzFeed could reach an even larger audience.

For NBC, a deepened partnership could help the company make more videos that appeal to millennials who aren't watching as much TV, paving the way for NBC to sell its marketers more digital advertising.

As part of NBC's first investment in BuzzFeed, the two companies explored strategic partnerships. For instance, BuzzFeed ran NBC's Snapchat channel during the Rio Olympics.

Representatives at BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal declined to comment.

~~ Bloomberg News