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NBCUniversal set for staff layoffs

US media company NBCUniversal is set to lay off a number of employees amid restructuring plans and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Less than 10 per cent of the company’s 35,000 staff will be affected, a source told NBC News.

The layoffs will be across the company and will impact NBCUniversal’s television channels including regional sports networks and sports digital operations, movie studios, and theme parks.

The redundancies will allow NBCUniversal to transition towards its streaming entertainment output, NBC News reported. NBCUniversal’s new Peacock subscription streaming video service launched last month, with Premier League football coverage among the sports properties available for subscribers.

Rival media company Disney has also been forced to lay off some staff, while the Wall Street Journal has reported that WarnerMedia is expected to follow suit later this month.

In May, NBC Sports asked its top on-air talent to take temporary pay cuts as a result of the sports competition shutdown due to Covid-19. Variety reported that well-known figures such as Mike Tirico, Al Michaels, and Dan Hicks would take pay cuts ranging between five and 10 per cent until the end of the year.

NBC Sports has been particularly affected by the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics until 2021, in addition to the suspension of the Premier League and NHL ice hockey league.

Corporate parent Comcast in its latest quarterly earnings filing last week reported a 12 per cent drop in revenue to $23.7bn.