Broadband and content driving cable's future, say Roberts, Rutledge

CHICAGO - Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) Chairman-CEO Brian Roberts doesn't wake up in the morning torn between his role as a service provider or programmer; he's happy to have the opportunity to be both, he said during a last-day keynote panel at The Cable Show.

"I've never bought into who's king, who's queen or anything else. The cable business is a great business," he said. Comcast bought NBCUniversal and its programming and theme parks because "We wanted to get larger. It seemed very logical to us. I realize that hasn't always been everybody's view (but) I feel better about the decision than a year ago, 18 months ago."

Programming, it seems, is still important to cable but it's only a piece of an equation that's driven by broadband.

"That's because the gap is widening between other networks and people want that speed," said Roberts.

Part of that speed includes TV Everywhere, the ability to use cable broadband to carry its products everywhere.

"We've put our whole cable service on every screen that there is in the home," said Tom Rutledge, COO of Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC).

The ability to generate content and then show it everywhere is driving cable's future, the two execs maintained.

"I think we're extremely relevant," Rutledge said.

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