NBC does not Own them at all
Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Lions Gate Entertainment hold video rights to the series. Universal has issued complete season DVD sets of the first few seasons, while Lionsgate's share of the rights are a result of prior contracts with NBC struck before the NBC Universal merger. A majority of Lionsgate's SNL DVDs are "Best Of..." compilations.
Traditionally, retail home video releases of Saturday Night Live material have consisted of "Best Of" compilations, comprising select performances (typically sketches) of past cast members, and notable guest hosts. Beginning in 1999, DVD releases were distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment under license from NBC (this was before the merger which resulted in the NBC Universal corporation). Following the establishment of NBC Universal in 2005, Universal Studios, owners of NBC, Saturday Night Live's broadcast home, ceased the existing arrangement of outside distribution of SNL material. While Lionsgate is no longer able to acquire new SNL-related content, they have retained reissuing rights to their existing SNL content library.
On December 5, 2006, Universal Home Entertainment released on DVD "Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season," comprising complete episodes. Upon the set’s release, some criticism of its authenticity as complete and uncut episodes arose from reviewers and fans. This was due to the existence of original live copies, which in comparison to the "complete" episodes reveal edits and omissions, which are common among the rerun versions of the shows in the set. Following the successful sales of the first season, subsequent seasons have been released. No subsequent releases are planned for the near future, as acquiring the rights to the musical acts has become too expensive.