While not directly addressing the latest elephant in the room during its third-quarter conference call with analysts, Comcast’s results for the period offered some explanation why the nation’s largest cable operator is pursuing a deal with one of the country’s largest content providers – programming is where the growth is.
Although accounting for a fraction of overall revenue and cash flow, programming networks like E! Entertainment, Golf Channel, Style and G4, reported double-digit revenue and operating cash flow growth in the period, while cable operations grew in the low single digits.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts hinted at the cable company’s negotiations with NBC Universal — said to be nearing the home stretch — without actually naming names on a conference call with analysts Wednesday morning.
“Let me note the many media reports in the marketplace about a potential content investment by Comcast,” Roberts said to open up the conference call. “While we can’t comment on rumors, I’d like to reinforce that we will only look at opportunities in our core businesses that potentially can accelerate growth, make those businesses more profitable and differentiated and give them the benefits of scale.” More…