Friday, August 5, 2011

Comcast CEO: We can't make money with OTT Services

During its Q2 earning call (transcript here), Comcast Chairman, President & CEO, Brian Roberts (pictured) was asked - "does it make sense to explore going and offering additional streaming video product sort of outside of your cable bundle and maybe even both in footprint but especially out of footprint? (i.e. provide Over the Top content)

The analyst, Benjamin Swinburne from Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. continued: "I mean, there’s 50 million homes in the U.S. that can’t get any service from Comcast. IP allows you to do a lot of things you couldn’t do before on the video front. Bandwidth speeds are going up around the country. It just seems that you have built an infrastructure that has huge opportunity beyond what we might traditionally think of as the cable business".

Mr. Roberts answer was - ".. I don’t think there’s yet a business model that we have seen that returns to our shareholders where you have relationships with customers that way outside of our footprint that we can make money. We had some free On-Demand product with Fancast that did not prove profitable. We have now kind of remade that into XFINITY TV, trying to make TV Everywhere happen where we have the content relationship and the customer relationship and extending that to all devices. That’s our focus for now .. But I think it’s better when you already have a relationship with the customer to add these services on"

See also "Cable Operators Move to OTT Video" here and "Verizon on OTT Video - "It's not something that's top of mind for us" - here

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