Cancel those Thursday morning flights, Cable Show attendees. The mystifying absence of Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) Chairman-CEO Brian Roberts from this year's Cable Show lineup has been solved: He'll be there on the show's last day to demonstrate what the NCTA described as "Comcast's next generation video product." If Roberts' appearance isn't enough to make you stick around, the NCTA also has Oprah Winfrey and second lady Jill Biden on the morning's agenda.
Roberts, who probably holds more interest for cable people than Oprah (maybe) and Biden (probably) has been known to make a splash--albeit an often low-keyed one--at the industry event. Last year he demonstrated the flexibility of iPad as a cable TV user interface, presaging a spate of iPad announcements later in the year.
This time it's likely he'll be taking the wraps off the semi-secret hybrid service that blends linear TV with Internet content that Comcast has been trialing in the Augusta, Ga. market using advanced Pace set-top boxes.
As for why the Thursday demo rather than earlier in the show, NCTA only said that the appearance was "not previously announced." What it didn't say is that if Roberts had asked that the show be extended an extra day, it would have happened.
- see this news release
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