Cable, content companies stop fighting: Comcast CEO
The timing of the decision by Comcast to buy out the rest of NBCUniversal "looks great" so far, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts told CNBC on Wednesday, shortly after the media conglomerate reported better-than-expected earnings.
"We're in a very special place at this cross-section of media and technology," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "We made a big part of our logic for why we wanted our shareholders to have something unique, which is a foot in both" television content and cable distribution.
Back in February, Comcast announced plans to buy the 49 percent of NBCUniversal it didn't already own from General Electric in a deal worth $16.7 billion.
Comcast said Wednesday it earned $1.73 billion in the second quarter. That's up from $1.35 billion in the same period a year earlier. Earnings excluding items rose to 65 cents on a per-share basis. Revenue rose 7 percent to $16.3 billion from $15.2 billion.
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Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 63 cents a share on $16.01 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Shares in the leading U.S. cable provider, which also owns CNBC parent NBC Universal, rose after the earnings announcement. (Click here for the latest quote.)
The diversified nature of Comcast's portfolio including television, cable, and theme parks has great value, Roberts said.
Theme parks have had a "really solid first half of the year," he added. "[It] continues to do really well. We have exciting attractions. You see other companies going public in that space."
Roberts said the latest quarter was Comcast's best for high speed Internet sales in five years. The company had 187,000 Internet subscriber additions in the second quarter, compared with 156,000 additions in the year-earlier period, a 20 percent increase.
"In video, we continue to have losses and that's not our goal, but they were less losses than the year before," he continued. "We're really trying to digitize those products, so you can take them everywhere. We're trying to wrap that under the Xfinity brand."
Reacting to rival Time Warner Cable's fight with CBS over the cost of carrying the network, Roberts said, "it makes a lot of necessity and sense for the consumer that both sides find a medium balance."
He called the current business model between cable television providers and content producers "innovative" and a driver of "wealth for both content companies and distribution companies."
Time Warner Cable is scheduled to announce earnings Thursday. Cablevision reports Friday.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to more precisely include the total number of Comcast Internet subscriber additions.