Comcast Reportedly Looking To Buy Vice Media, Or Maybe BuzzFeed, Or Maybe Vox…

Now that Comcast is done crying itself to sleep every night about its forced breakup with merger partner Time Warner Cable, the company is getting back to doing what it does best: No, not providing adequate cable/Internet service (don’t be silly!), but acquiring other businesses.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Comcast’s NBCUniversal division is looking around at, and having some chats with, a handful of new(ish) media ventures about maybe becoming part of the Kabletown team.

Among those the company has talked to are Vice Media, BuzzFeed, and Business Insider. NBCUniversal already owns about 14% of Vox Media and may up its investment in the company.

The idea appears to be to acquire the online media resources that younger consumers are increasingly choosing over traditional TV. These properties’ websites have large, varied readerships, giving any buyer a built-in audience to market to and data-mine. Some, most notably Vice, have existing TV presences.

Vice would likely be the most difficult acquisition, as a handful of other major media companies — like 21st Century Fox, A+E Networks, and Time Warner — already invested in the multimedia brand.

It’s possible, notes the Journal, that Vice could actually end up buying one of NBCUniversal’s many cable channels and turning it into a Vice-branded property.

Comcast does face the risk of being lured in by the temptation of paying for something new and different that may, in the long run, not pay off.

“Several of the potential targets on its list are fast-growing but unprofitable and could run into systemic issues of their own, such as pressures in the online advertising marketplace,” explains the Journal. “And it is unclear how the buccaneer-style culture at many of these new media outfits would fare inside a relatively conservative conglomerate like Comcast.”

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