Brian Roberts

Comcast's Roberts: The business is changing, and so are we

June 21, 2011: 4:45 PM ET

The cable company CEO previewed a next-gen user interface, but can Comcast really compete with Apple, not to mention Netflix?

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts

FORTUNE -- Comcast (CMCSA) CEO Brian Roberts wants you to know the company is adapting to the times, and that the perception of the cable company as a stodgy provider of bulky cable set top boxes is a thing of the past.

"We recognize that the business is changing and has changed, and we're well aware that there's new competition," Roberts told Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer on Thursday in New York.

One of the biggest topics of discussion was subsidiary NBC Universal's successful $4.4 billion bid for U.S. TV rights to the next four Olympic games. Several analysts had weighed in immediately after the news last week stating that the deal may not end up being profitable, something which Roberts disputes, even if the business model behind it still has to be ironed out. The key was to "go long."

"We had to find a way that they could be satisfied with what they were getting and we could absolutely feel that we could make money into the future," he said. "The only way we could see to do that was to go long. … Ultimately what we prevailed with was a decade relationship including London, that includes all media rights, wireless, Facebook, Internet, [and] cable." More

  • Why Congress is Comcastic

    By David A. Kaplan, contributor

    A federal appeals court sided with Comcast, saying the FCC overstepped its bounds in enforcing net neutrality. But the real slap is on Congress.

    In an important decision already being attacked by supporters of "net neutrality," the court ruled that the FCC lacked the power to force Comcast (CMCSA) to treat all traffic equally on its broadband network.  Thus, Comcast—and other telecom and cable companies—are MORE

    Apr 6, 2010 8:31 PM ET
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