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NBCU CEO Steve Burke: ‘Ultimately, We Need to Get Paid’

NBC Universal’s chief executive sang the monetization tune during a Bank of America Merrill Lynch media conference Wednesday morning

Steve Burke, the longtime Comcast exec now in charge of the content side that he once tusseled with about fees, sang the monetizaton tune on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch media conference, NBCUniversal's chief executive reminded attendees that “we’re in business to make money.”

Burke spoke frankly about NBC's struggles to punch its way out of fourth place in the fall season about to get underway. 

"No network has ever been as far behind financially as NBC is," Burke admitted, adding that for NBC the rate TV bean counters dub "cost-per-thousands" is 20 percent less than the competition is charging.

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Burke eschewed the word synergy, a word he considers obsolete, instead stating that the company's overarching strategy is to create a cross-platform “symphony” that would take advantage of the cable giant’s audience in deploying content from both the television and the motion picture side.

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Burke also acknowledged the film studio’s mixed success.

“It's not an easy business right now," he said. "You go from being elated one month to not happy a month later."  

The key strategy for the film side, he added, is "making movies that have international appeal."

Stepping carefully, he reminded outlets that consume NBCU content about the bottom line. "Ultimately we need to get paid," he said. "Otherwise the whole model breaks down."