General Electric Co is holding discussions on partnerships or an IPO for its NBC Universal unit, Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said, amid expectations about a deal with cable operator Comcast Corp .

I just said discussions are ongoing whether its is IPO or other partnership, Immelt told reporters on Friday in response to a question on whether GE was talking to Comcast to sell a stake in NBC.

Sources familiar with the talk have told Reuters that GE and Comcast are discussing a deal under which the largest U.S. cable firm would take control of 51 percent of NBC Universal with GE keeping the rest.

GE, which owns 80 percent of NBC Universal, is said to be pondering its options for the fourth-place TV network and ailing movie studio as its partner, Vivendi , draws closer to a decision on whether to unload its 20 percent stake.

GE has the right of first refusal to pick Vivendi's stake if the French company exercises its annual option to sell.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Anshuman Daga)