Key dates in history of National Broadcasting Co.

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1964 _ NBC broadcasts its first Olympic Games.

1975 _ “Saturday Night Live” debuts.

1984 _ “The Cosby Show” debuts, becomes TV’s biggest hit.

1986 _ GE restores its ties to NBC, becoming its owner after acquiring RCA.

1989 _ “Seinfeld” debuts.

1994 _ “ER” and “Friends” debut, making NBC’s Thursday “must-see TV.”

1995 _ Network launches NBC.com.

1996 _ NBC and Microsoft Corp. launch MSNBC on cable TV and Internet.

2002 _ NBC acquires Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo and entertainment cable network Bravo.

2004 _ NBC Universal formed after merger with Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

2007 _ Jeff Zucker named president and chief executive. “30 Rock” premieres, starring Tina Fey, its creator, and Alec Baldwin. It satires NBC and its parent, GE.

2008 _ Launch of Hulu, online video joint venture with Fox network owner News Corp. ABC later joins.

2009 _ NBC, fourth in ratings and looking to pare the costs of producing scripted shows, brings Jay Leno to prime time. GE agrees to sell controlling stake in the company to Comcast Corp.

2011 _ The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department approve Comcast’s takeover of NBC Universal with conditions intended to prevent it from keeping NBC programming to itself at the detriment of other cable operators and video websites. NBC Universal loses the space in its name to become NBCUniversal. “Kabletown” replaces GE as the corporate owner on “30 Rock.”

2012 _ NBC airs the Summer Olympics, held in London. While it expected to take a loss on the coverage given the high costs, it breaks even with ratings up compared with the Beijing Games in 2008. And NBC begins showing clear signs of a comeback, improving ratings after nearly sliding into irrelevancy over the previous decade.

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