Government regulation not a 'big worry' for Comcast's Roberts

Comcast President and CEO Brian Roberts carefully tread around a potential landmine when queried about FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's avowed plans to apply regulation to broadband Internet.

"I honestly don't believe the government is trying to turn the clocks back and regulate an industry that has grown without government oversight," Roberts said during a morning keynote brunch at The Cable Show in Los Angeles. "I don't think the government is a big worry."

Roberts also said he wasn't overly worried that so-called "cord cutters" were slicing into Comcast's cable TV business because statistics have shown there is "not any real evidence that (consumers) want to get rid of (their) distribution-satellite, cable or phone." At the same time, he said, "our company should be able to serve both" Internet and cable customers.

In a relentlessly upbeat conversation sponsored by the NCTA and the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) Roberts also emphasized that the acquisition of NBC Universal would not be a culture change for either Comcast or NBC.

"We don't even have a Comcast way, so to speak," the MSO boss said, before conceding that acquiring NBC's broadcast properties will change things for Comcast. "We're still going to be an 80 percent cable company (but) can't be the same company we were for 50 years."

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