Roberts: Comcast becoming a 'new products' company

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) COO Steve Burke used to tell his boss, Comcast Chairman CEO Brian Roberts, that the MSO would become a "new products company (and) for the longest time I never quite understood what that would mean," Roberts said during a conference call detailing Comcast's second quarter earnings.

"But ... that's what we've become. We have a number of products and the competitive nature of each of those areas and the demand that's put on them ... is a really important and strategic asset for the company."

Roberts singled out 3D TV, interactive advertising, ethnic programming and business services as Comcast products. Notably absent from that list was a mobile wireless play, with the exception of WiFi which "really helps enable the last foot ... but the last mile is best with our cable."

That doesn't mean Comcast is ignoring broadband wireless. It is focusing on extending the "high-speed next-gen (Clearwire WiMAX) wireless network," said Burke. "The second (piece of the wireless strategy) is the WiFi component where we're traveling on a targeted basis. The final piece is wireless apps (and) we've made very good progress on that."

Even when roaming wirelessly, though, Comcast likely won't be competing with its cable brethren, Roberts said.

"Our principal focus is in-market. We understand the business model. We've not seen other business models that make sense to us at this time out-of-market," he said.

For more:
- see this news release

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