Cable TV giant Comcast is due to report fourth quarter 2009 earnings this Wednesday. Observers not only will be looking for good numbers from a quarter that has featured so-so telco results thus far, but also will be hungry for an update on the Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture.
Earnings-wise, some analysts are expecting an overall positive vibe after Comcast stiffened against telco competition during the third quarter of 2009. The company is also expected to do somewhat better in Q4 2009 than in Q4 2008, which has been viewed as one of the worst quarters in recent memory for cable TV firms.
Regulatory-wise, Comcast last week filed initial regulatory paperwork on the NBC deal with the Federal Communications Commission, in which it argued that the combination of programming assets would not unfairly dominate the nascent online TV viewing segment. The filing featured a chart (which you can see via the link below at Light Reading's Cable Digital News) that shows the Web TV businesses of Comcast (Fancast), NBC Universal and Hulu combined would not even come close to matching Google's reach. Meanwhile, Comcast admitted that the corporate combo would help out its TV Everywhere plans.
Wednesday's earnings report also may provide a preview of Comcast chief Brian Roberts' scheduled appearance before the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee in Washington, D.C., the very next day.
Comcast's Q3 2009 earnings showed strength
The Comcast-NBC Universal deal was announced in December