Rebranded Comcast 'off to a great start of the year,' says Roberts

Comcast, which now calls its cable products Xfinity, saw a 12 percent increase in first quarter profit based on signing up more digital cable TV subscribers and a rebounding advertising business. The MSO "is off to a great start of the year with new products," CEO Brian Roberts told Bloomberg Television. "It's one of our best broadband quarters ever."

Comcast said it added 427,000 digital TV subs and nearly 400,000 Internet subs in the quarter. Its first quarter operating cash flow climbed 3.5 percent and free cash flow zipped up 38 percent, the company said. Perhaps in a sign that the economy is rebounding, Comcast's advertising revenue went up 23.5 percent in the quarter across the board.

Comcast has rebranded the company's products as Xfinity and the strategy seems to be working, according to Miller Tabak & Co. analyst David Joyce who told Bloomberg Businessweek "the cable companies are doing a better job winning back telco subscribers. Comcast's primary competitor, Verizon's FiOS TV, gained only 168,000 customers (down from 299,000) a year earlier and 185,000 high-speed data subs (down from 298,000).

All was not rosy, however, as the MSO reported losing 82,000 video customers, slightly more than the fist quarter in 2009 and a 2 percent decline in video revenue.

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