Smit: NBCU will give Comcast programming 'synergies'

A merged Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA)-NBC Universal will be a fast-moving "test-and-learn" entity that will quickly develop and deliver new programming services, Comcast Cable President Neil Smit said during a luncheon Q&A at the 38th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.

"If you think about the content partner and distributor relationship now, you get together every four or five years and bang heads and walk away," Smit said, adding that the entities do get together "maybe once a year to discuss opportunities." Adding NBCU to the Comcast stable of companies, though, will enable "a very active test-and-learn conversation ... and I think it will drive more innovation and more value to the customer on a much shorter cycle," he said.

Smit, who said Comcast is still "hoping to close by year end," dismissed concerns others in the industry have had about increasingly contentious retransmission deals. While not specifically addressing how Comcast would handle talks with fellow service providers, Smit did note that "neither Comcast nor NBCU has been involved in a standoff where the customer has not been able to view our content" and that while he personally sees no need for regulatory involvement, "there's no predicting how it will go."

For more:
listen to this webcast

Related articles:
Roberts: Wearing two hats could make Comcast a peacemaker in retrans disputes
Comcast's Roberts optimistic about NBC Universal

Suggested Articles

Comcast is increasing X1 cloud DVR storage hours 60 to 150, more than doubling the capacity.

Evolution Digital is launching a cloud-based service for operators that have deployed its Android TV-based eSTREAM 4K set-top boxes.

Comcast, Charter and ViacomCBS today announced that they will all take equal ownership of Blockgraph.