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WHEN: Today, Wednesday, July 27th
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"
Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Wednesday, July 27th. Following are links to the interview on CNBC.com:http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000538191, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000538195 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000538192.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
DAVID FABER: COMCAST OUT WITH EARNINGS THAT TOPPED ESTIMATES THIS MORNING. JOINING US NOW FROM PHILADELPHIA IS BRIAN ROBERTS THE CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF COMCAST. OF COURSE IT IS OUR PARENT COMPANY. ALWAYS NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US, BRIAN.
BRIAN ROBERTS: DAVID, GREAT TO SEE YOU AND BE WITH YOU AGAIN.
FABER: INTERESTING, THE STOCK HAD LOOKED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO OPEN HIGHER, BUT IS DOWN A BIT RIGHT NOW. NOT SURE IF THERE WAS ANYTHING ON THE CALL, I HAVEN'T HEARD ANYTHING, THAT CONCERNED PEOPLE. VIDEO SUBS CONTINUE TO MOVE IN A DIRECTION MANY WOULD NOT HAVE EXPECTED, NAMELY, UP. I KNOW WHEN WE LOOK AT IT IN TERMS OF QUARTER TO QUARTER, I THINK YOU LOST 4,000 YEAR OVER YEAR IN SEASONAL VIDEO SUBSCRIBERS, BUT OVERALL UP. CAN YOU KEEP THAT GOING IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE ALL KNOW CORD CUTTING KEEPS TAKING PLACE AND THE SKINNY BUNDLE WILL BEGIN TO PROLIFERATE?
ROBERTS: WELL, I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT. THIS IS REALLY THE NEWS OF THE QUARTER.THIS IS THE BEST SECOND QUARTER IN TEN YEARS FOR VIDEO. CONTINUES A TREND WE'VE BEEN SEEING. WE'VE SEEN CHURN, WHICH IS THE NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS WHO DISCONNECT. REDUCE EVERY MONTH FOR SOMETHING LIKE 27, 29 MONTHS IN A ROW. AND I THINK IT'S X1, OUR VIDEO EXPERIENCE THAT WE GIVE OUR CUSTOMERS WITH THE NEW BOX. IT'S THE ADDITIONAL CONTENT. IT'S OUR IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE. IT'S OUR BETTER OPERATIONAL FOCUS. IT'S A REALLY GOOD TREND AND WE DO BELIEVE WE CAN CONTINUE THIS MOMENTUM THAT WE'VE CREATED IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR. AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT SEEING A SLOWDOWN AND WE'RE REALLY EXCITED WITH OUR PRODUCT AND THE RESPONSE WE'RE GETTING FROM CUSTOMERS. BEST QUARTER IN TEN YEARS.
FABER: YEAH, I MEAN, WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE COMING FROM? LETS SAY IF YOU'RE BARELY LOSING ANYBODY AND YOU'RE GAINING TO A CERTAIN EXTENT AS WELL, WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM, BRIAN?
ROBERTS: WELL, I THINK ONE AREA IS SATELLITE. YOU KNOW, THE BELLS FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS HAVE BEEN BUILDING MORE AND MORE NEW FOOTPRINT THAT OVERBUILDS US. THESE ARE TREMENDOUS COMPETITIVE HEADWINDS AND I THINK OUR PRODUCT AT DIFFERENT TIMES OVER THAT 10-YEAR, 15-YEAR PERIOD, SOMETIMES IS BETTER OR WORSE THAN OUR COMPETITOR. RIGHT NOW, I DON'T THINK WE'VE HAD A BETTER PRODUCT, WHICH IS WHAT MATTERS, CUSTOMER FIRST, WHEN YOU CAN JUST TALK TO YOUR REMOTE CONTROL. WE'RE PUTTING OUT 800,000 VOICE REMOTE CONTROLS A MONTH. AND PEOPLE ARE USING IT 200 MILLION TIMES A MONTH. THAT'S A GAME CHANGER. NOBODY ELSE HAS THAT. WE HAVE 150,000 PLUS PIECES OF CONTENT ON DEMAND. WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO FOR THE OLYMPICS, AS WE'VE DEMONSTRATED, IS UNPRECEDENTED. SO THERE'S A WIDENING GAP BETWEEN WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU BUY CABLE FROM COMCAST AND WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU BUY ONE OF OUR COMPETITORS. AND THAT'S THAT INNOVATION THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT AND IT'S REALLY PAYING DIVIDENDS RIGHT NOW.
JIM CRAMER: BRIAN, JIM CRAMER.
ROBERTS: HEY, JIM.
CRAMER: THE TECHNOLOGY IS VERY EXCITING. I WANTED TO GET TO WHAT I THINK SOME PEOPLE MAY BE MISJUDGING, WHICH IS THAT YOU HAD SOME REALLY BIG MOVIES LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME AND THE NUMBERS DON'T LOOK AS GOOD. AT THE SAME TIME, A LITTLE CONJECTURE. I KNOW THAT "THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS" WAS NOT THE PREVIOUS QUARTER. BUT I'M PROJECTING THAT IT COULD MAKE $370 MILLION AND COULD END UP BEING A GREAT SERIES OF RIDES AT THEME PARKS. SO COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE PAST AND MAYBE GIVE US A SENSE OF HOW YOU TAKE A FRANCHISE LIKE "SECRET LIFE" AND MAKE IT INTO A RIDE?
ROBERTS: IT'S THE BIG NEWS IN THE FILM DIVISION IN QUITE A WHILE, WHICH IS ONE OF THOSE GREAT BREAKOUT FRANCHISES THANKS TO CHRIS MELEDANDRI AND DONNA LANGLEY AND JEFF SHELL AND RON MEYER AND THE TEAM WE HAVE AT UNIVERSAL DOING A FANTASTIC JOB. BUT PARTICULARLY, IN ANIMATION, WHICH IS WHY WE WANTED TO BUY DREAMWORKS, ANIMATION IS WHERE YOU CAN HAVE THESE, YOU KNOW, INCREDIBLE FRANCHISES AND WITH OUR COMPANY, WITH THEME PARKS, WITH CONSUMER PRODUCTS, WITH CHINA, WITH THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE SEQUELS, IT DID OCCUR IN THE THIRD QUARTER. YOU'RE TOTALLY RIGHT. LAST SECOND QUARTER WE HAD "JURASSIC WORLD" AND "FURIOUS 7" SO THIS WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A DOWN QUARTER IF YOU JUST LOOK AT THAT 90-DAY TO 90-DAY GLIMPSE, THAT'S NOT WHAT I LIKE TO DO. NBCUNIVERSAL HAD A REALLY STRONG QUARTER, FANTASTIC FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR, AND BIG PART OF THE SECOND HALF WILL BE "SECRET LIFE OF PETS" AND WE HAVE A MOVIE COMING AT THE END OF THE YEAR FROM THE SAME TEAM CALLED "SING" WHICH WE'RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT AS WELL. AND THAT'S WHAT GAVE US THE CONFIDENCE TO WANT TO BUY DREAMWORKS. SO WE JUST GOT BACK FROM A TRIP TO CHINA AND LOOKED AT, YOU KNOW, THE THEME PARK POSSIBILITY IN BEIJING AND IT'S ALL FUELED BY THIS GREAT CONTENT THAT WE NOW HAVE IN THE COMPANY.
CARL QUINTANILLA: BRIAN, IT'S CARL. JUST ON – TO STICK WITH THE STUDIOS, ANIMATION ASIDE, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARGUE THAT THE HOLLYWOOD PARADIGM OF GOING FOR TENT POLE, BLOCKBUSTER SUPERHERO MOVIES IS ENDANGERING MOVIES IN GENERAL OVER THE LONG TERM AS FEWER YOUNGER PEOPLE GO TO THE MOVIES. WILL HOLLYWOOD BACK OFF OF THAT?
ROBERTS: LOOK, I CAN'T SPEAK FOR ALL OF THAT BECAUSE IT'S A WHOLE COMMUNITY OF CREATIVE ENDEAVORS. WE CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR WHAT WE'RE DOING. WE HAVE A REALLY NICE BALANCE. I THINK WHEN WE STARTED WITH NBCUNIVERSAL, WE HAD TOO MUCH IN TENT POLES AND WE HAD SOME BIG HIGH-PROFILE MISSES. I THINK WE'VE EVENED IT OUT AND LAST YEAR WAS THE MOST PROFITABLE YEAR IN THE HUNDRED YEAR HISTORY OF UNIVERSAL AND THE YEAR BEFORE, WAS THE BEST YEAR SINCE WE HAD OWNED THE COMPANY. THIS YEAR, WILL BE – IF THINGS HOLD UP, I THINK WE WILL BE AT OR BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD BUDGETED WHICH IS FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE. NOT EVERY YEAR AS YOU KNOW IN FILM, ESPECIALLY IN SEQUELS, THEY DON'T COME EVERY YEAR. THEY COME EVERY OTHER YEAR. SO NEXT YEAR IS A BIG YEAR WHEN "FURIOUS" COMES BACK AND MINIONS, "DESPICABLE ME 3" AND THERE'S WONDERFUL AND AT THE END OF THE YEAR IS "SING". SO WE THINK 2017 WILL BE AN EQUALLY GREAT YEAR LEADING INTO 2018. SO I THINK OUR STRATEGY IS WORKING. CAN'T SPEAK FOR OTHERS. AGAIN, PART OF BEING PART OF A DIVERSIFIED COMPANY LIKE COMCAST/NBCUNIVERSAL, YOU LOOK AT CABLE'S RESULTS, THE FANTASTIC QUARTER. WE JUST TALKED ABOUT BROADBAND. WE DIDN'T MENTION 220,000 BROADBAND NET ADS. THAT'S THE BEST IN SECOND QUARTER IN EIGHT YEARS.
FABER: WELL –
ROBERTS: SO IT'S A WONDERFUL MIX OF COMPANIES.
FABER: YOU'RE BEING EFFECTIVE, BRIAN. THE STOCK HAS ACTUALLY TURNED AROUND SINCE YOU STARTED TALKING. THAT'S A GOOD THING.
ROBERTS: WELL, GOOD. LET'S KEEP TALKING THEN FOR A WHILE.
FABER: YEAH, WELL, WE'RE HAPPY TO HAVE YOU AS LONG AS YOU WANT. YOU ARE THE BOSS. I DID WANT TO GET TO WIRELESS BECAUSE THERE'S ALWAYS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT POTENTIAL OF ACQUISITIONS. I KNOW ON THE CALL YOU SAID, WIRELESS REPRESENTS A SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BUSINESS. AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO FEEL THAT 5G, WHICH IS COMING, COULD REPRESENT A REAL THREAT TO THE BUSINESS AS PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET ALMOST A BROADBAND EXPERIENCE WIRELESSLY IN THEIR HOME. WHERE ARE YOU ON WIRELESS? WHY DID YOU SAY IT'S A SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BUSINESS AND WOULD YOU CONSIDER AN ACQUISITION?
ROBERTS: WELL, WE'RE NOT LOOKING AT AN ACQUISITION. AND WHAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON IS REALLY A BUNCH OF WAYS TO LOOK AT WIRELESS. FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS WE HAVE MORE WI-FI HOT SPOTS THAN ANY COMPANY IN AMERICA AND WE HAVE THE BEST WI-FI OF ANY COMPANY IN AMERICA. AND THAT'S A STRATEGY DATING ALL THE WAY BACK, FRANKLY, TO A CONVERSATION I ONCE HAD WITH STEVE JOBS. HE SAID WHY DON'T YOU PUT WI-FI IN ALL YOUR CABLE BOXES BEFORE ANYBODY HAD HEARD THE WORDS WI-FI. SO THE DATA-DRIVEN, SILICON VALLEY, CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF WHAT, YOU KNOW, EVEN BROADBAND IS, TO WIRELESS BEING THE FRONT END AND WIRED DOING THE FAST CONNECTIVITY, THAT HYBRID NETWORK IS WHAT WE SEE FOR OUR STRATEGY. AND SO FIRST IS WI-FI, SECOND IS ACTIVATING THE MVNO WHICH MEANS THAT WE RENT THE VERIZON NETWORK ON A WHOLESALE BASIS, WHATEVER THAT NETWORK BECOMES. IT'S TODAY LTE, AND VOICE. TOMORROW IT'S 5G AND 6G AND WHEREVER THE WORLD GOES. WE HAVE THAT AGREEMENT THAT GOES WHERE THE TECHNOLOGY GOES. AND THEN, CAN WE FIND A WAY TO MARRY IN A SPECIAL WAY THAT ADDS VALUE TO OUR CUSTOMERS THE WIRED, THE WIRELESS, THE WI-FI, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON. AND WE WILL HAVE MORE TO TALK ABOUT THAT IN THE FUTURE. AND THEN FINALLY IS 5G ITSELF, AND WE BELIEVE THE INTERNET OF THINGS IS A WHOLE NEW MARKET. AND THERE'S NO REASON WE CAN'T CAPTURE WITH OUR BUSINESS SERVICES GROUP, WHICH GREW 17% IN REVENUE AGAIN THIS QUARTER, IN A $5 BILLION RUN RATE BUSINESS, THAT WE SHOULD GO INTO BOTH RESIDENTIAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES INTO THIS NEW WORLD WHICH WE THINK IS WHERE 5G LOOKS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING. SO THEREFORE, WE THINK IT'S MORE OF AN OPPORTUNITY. BUT LOOK, THERE ARE ALWAYS STORM CLOUDS AND THAT'S WHAT KEEPS YOU SHARP. BUT OUR BROADBAND, WE HAD THE BEST BROADBAND IN EIGHT YEARS. I'M PRETTY HAPPY ABOUT THAT.
FABER: NO, I'M SURE YOU ARE. AND YOU MENTIONED STORM CLOUDS, OF COURSE. AND YOU KNOW, THE STORY IS, WELL HOW WILL YOU EVENTUALLY GET REVENUE GROWTH IF, IN FACT, THERE IS A DECLINE IN VIDEO SUBSCRIBERS, AS PEOPLE EXPECT WILL TAKE PLACE OVER TIME, AND THE PROLIFERATION OF SKINNY BUNDLES. I MEAN, WHAT HAPPENS TO AVERAGE REVENUE PER USER IN THAT ENVIRONMENT? YOU'RE DESCRIBING ALL THE REASONS WHY THAT MAY NOT HAPPEN, BRIAN, BUT CERTAINLY THAT IS ONE REASON WHY PEOPLE AT LEAST EYE COMCAST WEARILY IN TERMS OF FUTURE GROWTH.
ROBERTS: WELL, ONE OF MY JOBS – WE'VE JOKED ABOUT THE STOCK – REALLY, REALLY IS TO RUN THE COMPANY, HAVE MANAGEMENT TEAMS AND MOTIVATED EMPLOYEES BUILDING GREAT PRODUCTS. AND IN THE LONG RUN, THE MARKET FIGURES IT OUT OR IT DOESN'T. EVENTUALLY, I BELIEVE IN THEORY THE MARKET FIGURES OUT YOUR REAL SUCCESS OR FAILURE AS A STOCK. AND SO WE SHOULDN'T REALLY CARE DAY TO DAY. WE SHOULD FOCUS ON THE BUSINESS. TO THAT END, THE ADVERTISING UPFRONT FOR NBCUNIVERSAL AS A FOR INSTANCE, ENDED FOR US LAST WEEK. WE HAD THE BEST UPFRONT SINCE WE'VE OWNED NBC. 12.5% GROWTH IN CPMs, COST PER THOUSAND. UP 20 – 12.5% AT NBC. SIMILAR DOUBLE DIGIT AT USA NETWORK. OUR BIG NETWORKS. THE STRONGEST UPFRONT WE'VE HAD IN SIX YEARS. THAT TELLS YOU SOMETHING ABOUT VIDEOS' HEALTH. ANOTHER DATA POINT WOULD BE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, TRAILING 12 MONTHS, WE'VE ADDED, BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL AND BUSINESS, WE'VE ADDED 100,000 VIDEO CUSTOMERS. SO MAYBE THERE'S CHANGES. EACH COMPANY HAS A DIFFERENT WAY OF REACTING. WE MADE INVESTMENTS IN X1, IMPROVING OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND OUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, AND MADE THAT THE GOAL OF OUR EMPLOYEES. AND AT NBC, IT'S TO BE THE NUMBER ONE NETWORK, WHICH WE WILL BE AGAIN IN THE 18-49 DEMO, AND TO HAVE A WONDERFUL GROUP OF CABLE CHANNELS INCLUDING CNBC –
FABER: THERE YOU GO.
ROBERTS: AND YOU KNOW WHAT, WE'RE HAVING A WONDERFUL RUN AND I'M VERY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE CAN CONTINUE THIS GROWTH.
FABER: WELL, WE APPRECIATE YOUR JOINING US, OF COURSE. WE HAVE TO GO TO PAY SOME BILLS WHICH I KNOW YOU'RE HAPPY ABOUT AS WELL.
ROBERTS: KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.
FABER: BRIAN ROBERTS, CHAIRMAN AND CEO.
CRAMER: AND YOU MENTIONED THE OLYMPICS –
FABER: HE'S GOING TO HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO TALK TO CARL ABOUT THE OLYMPICS I KNOW IN COMING WEEKS. BRIAN, THANK YOU AS ALWAYS, APPRECIATE IT.
ROBERTS: THANKS SO MUCH, GUYS.
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