Comcast announced Tuesday that it will acquire the remaining 49 percent stake in NBC Universal that it does not already own from General Electric for $16.7 billion.

The deal accelerates provisions Comcast made to buy out GE’s stake after regulators approved its acquisition of NBC Universal in 2011. Under the original deal, GE would be allowed to divest its holdings in the joint venture from July 2014.

“Our decision to acquired GE’s ownership is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects of NBC Universal,” said Comcast Chairman and chief executive Brian L. Roberts.

According to a release from Comcast, the deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

NBC Universal and Comcast spent over a year trying to get approval from federal regulators to give the nation’s largest cable and Internet service provider ownership of such a large library of content. The deal marked the first time a cable company has owned a major network.

As part of the new transaction, NBC Universal will buy two major properties from GE as well — 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Comcast also announced that it had increased its revenue in 2012 by 12 percent from the previous year, to $62.5 billion for the year.