Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

Summary: Comcast is determined to get "anytime, anywhere television" right and the NBC Universal acquisition is designed to accelerate the application of innovation without worrying about negotiating friction between distribution and content partners.

SHARE:

Comcast is determined to get "anytime, anywhere television" right and the NBC Universal acquisition is designed to accelerate the application of innovation without worrying about negotiating friction between distribution and content partners, said a top executive at the cable giant.

David Cohen, executive vice president of broadband at Comcast, said the acquisition of NBCU is about combining content and distribution and financial diversification, but primarily about "accelerating the delivery of anytime anywhere television." Comcast's acquisition of NBCU is expected to close by the end of the year.

Speaking at the Supernova conference at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business Friday, Cohen said that Comcast views itself primarily as a technology company. However, it can't move as quickly as it wants on accelerating content and distribution delivery on multiple screens due to negotiating "friction" over content rights. The plan: Eliminate the friction and innovate.

On-demand content delivery has been front and center at Comcast. Earlier this week, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said he admired Netflix for being able to deliver on-demand content and recommendations. Roberts' message: Comcast needs to step up its game.

NBCU would give Comcast an arsenal of content to better experiment, said Cohen. He noted that Comcast-NBCU would only have 12 percent of the content market in revenue and ratings, but could have enough heft for some nice experimentation. "We see this deal as a way to accelerate the delivery of content through out technology and distribution and achieve anytime anywhere faster," said Cohen.

Among other themes highlighted by Cohen:

  • Video over the Web will have troubles surviving without subscription revenue.
  • Cohen said Hulu is a complement to Comcast's on-demand content. "We don't view video over the Internet as a foe," he said. "Even if everyone views TV over the Internet they still go through Comcast for broadband." Cohen added that Comcast expects video revenue to shrink over time.
  • Comcast said the ecosystem of Internet players is in more agreement over regulation than any other time. Cohen said his company's biggest concern over government regulation is the law of unintended consequences. "The unintended consequence of regulation could  result in actions that retard investment and innovation," he said.
  • Speaking of regulation, Cohen spoke highly of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and said he's the most qualified chairman ever. Cohen said Genachowski gets technology as well as business and understands how "the real world works."
  • Cohen said that Comcast did nothing wrong in the BitTorrent flap and was managing its network, which was stretched at the time. Comcast’s mistake was not consulting with P2P players and giving them a heads up. "From engineering perspective, we learned from that," said Cohen. "We should have engaged the peer-to-peer providers at an engineering level. The lesson we learned is to have an active dialogue at an engineer level with the Googles, eBays of the world. When we make changes on our network, we consult with them in advance. We still manage our networks, but now because of the dialogue we don't have issues with the rest of the ecosystem. That's the right way to resolve those problems without regulation."

Topics: Cloud, Browser, Data Centers, Government, Government US, Hardware, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

10 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Good In Theory

    However, I can assure you the cultures will not assimilate. We never saw any of the great promised "synergy" emerge from the AOL-Time Warner merger.
    Mwendo
    • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

      @Mwendo That's because the AOL - Time Warner merger was badly handled after the deal was inked. The good ol' boys in the ivory towers wanted the AOL money, but on old media terms. And at the time, old media still had enough teeth to snarl with. As evidenced, take note: AOL purchased Time Warner, but dropped the AOL off the moniker. This was one hell of an important lesson for everybody. Some are STILL trying to understand that.
      Joey1058
  • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

    Careful... no Trademark infringement! "All You Need To Know Anytime Anywhere" is www.iKnowWare.com
    iknowware
  • Well... kinda

    The first three words were spot on... "Comcast is determined...". After that, not so much. Spin is everything.<br><br>Comcast IS determined... determined to monopolize the entire architecture of electronic distribution... determined to monetize every scrap of content they can lay hands on... determined to sue anyone that interferes with every megalomaniacal fantasy imaginable.<br><br>Remember when the political mob screams about 'the market'... the whole POINT of 'the market' is to dominate, to crush, and above everything else, to profit.
    semi-adult
  • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

    At least somebody in the Comcast camp has the right idea. Implementation is going to be the key factor. It's all bits, as the buzzword goes. Pull this off right, and you're going to see a paradigm shift in the broadcast industry. The field will level off, and everybody wins. Screw it up, and the old media dragon will howl longer and louder in it's death throes.
    Joey1058
  • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

    I don't like the Deal! I think it's only for Comcast to penny pinch you of fees for everything. Including over the air programming of NBC. I hope the FCC says NO and or make Comcast give up or follow some heavy rules.
    QuietStormX
  • The one good thing about the merger

    If Comcast is dedicated to pushing NBCU's content over the internet, it's the one good thing to come out of this merger. Previously, the president of NBCU said their internet strategy was secondary to maximizing the revenue they got from their cable operations (translation: We won't put it on the internet even with subscriptions). This change is refreshing.

    However, I still think the merger is a bad idea overall.
    zackers
  • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

    Do you really want one company controlling everything that you see on TV or get over the net? It's way too bad already.
    I'm certain that ole Adolph would have loved this much control. Also remember that this company is right on the very bottom when it comes to customer satisfaction surveys
    bhaskins1
  • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

    Thank for the information of cams. <a href="http://www.multikontrade.de/IPCam">IPCam</a> Information of higetech. <a href="http://www.treppenlift24.info/">treppenlift</a> <a href="http://www.treppenlift-anbieter.net/">treppenlift-anbieter</a> Thank for senioren information.
    zalim24
  • RE: Comcast exec: NBCU deal will accelerate 'anytime, anywhere television'

    Viele Lift h?ndler setzen auf hightech hardware und vertrauen ihnen.<a href="http://www.treppenlift-hersteller.com/ ">treppenlift-hersteller</a>
    <a href="http://www.lift-aufzug.de/">lift aufzug</a> info
    <a href="http://www.aufzugsfirmen.de/">aufzug</a> angebote
    zalim24