September 9, 2016 |
Telecom carriers bid $864 million for TV airwaves in Philadelphia in the first round of a secretive federal auction that transfers wireless spectrum from NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, and other over-the-air TV networks to wireless carriers for data-consuming smartphones. The auction - the "last, best chance for [wireless] competitors to get spectrum," said telecom analyst Craig Moffett - allows TV broadcasters to voluntarily cash out of their spectrum and close down. TV stations also can relocate broadcasts to new frequencies on the TV dial.
September 5, 2016 |
'I'll call him" was Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts' response in April when told that DreamWorks head Jeffrey Katzenberg could be negotiating to take his animation movie studio private with the help of a Chinese investor. Thus began whirlwind negotiations on April 13 as Roberts in Philadelphia reached Katzenberg on his mobile phone while driving from a Hollywood lunch with director Steven Spielberg. "We know how to do this," Roberts recalled saying on the phone, adding that Comcast wanted to buy the studio.
August 26, 2016 |
Comcast's online streaming service Watchable.com is something like a free cable service for millennials, but without big-time sports or traditional TV shows. Now, the Philadelphia cable giant is expanding Watchable with exclusive short video clips, lasting four to seven minutes. With them, Comcast hopes to compete for eyeballs with Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat videos and tap into a new class of video-content creators. "There is an emerging class of content that we have not been part of," said Jamie Gillingham, Comcast's vice president of strategic development.
August 26, 2016
Comcast Corp. has added 150,000 families to its discounted Internet Essentials program since December, the company said on Wednesday. The Philadelphia company has now enrolled a total of 750,000 families into the program since it was launched in late 2011. Once restricted to low-income families with children, Comcast has expanded Internet Essentials to anyone living in federally subsidized public housing in Comcast cable-TV markets. The program can be reached at www.internetessentials.com or 1-855-846-8376 - Bob Fernandez
August 25, 2016 |
Comcast Corp.-owned NBCUniversal will fold DreamWorks Animation into its Universal films business but retain the DreamWorks campus and studios in Glendale, Calif., the companies said Tuesday. In April, Comcast agreed to buy the entertainment firm that produced Shrek , Kung Fu Panda , and other animated features for $3.8 billion. That deal closed Monday. Employee cutbacks at DreamWorks were not announced Tuesday, though they are expected among headquarters staffers. DreamWorks will now be a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, which owns feature-film brands including Universal Pictures and its movie studio, which had a blockbuster run in 2015 that it hasn't matched this year.
August 24, 2016
Comcast Corp. completed its acquisition of the DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. animation studio on Monday for $3.8 billion, regulatory filings show. Comcast bid on the troubled movie studio earlier in the year, closing the deal with a $41 a share offer. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will no longer head the company but will be retained as a consultant to Comcast. Bob Fernandez
August 19, 2016 |
Charisse Lillie, who headed the Comcast Foundation and was the point person for organizations seeking donations or philanthropic help from Comcast Corp., is retiring in January after 12 years at the cable giant. Lillie, 64, served as a human-resources vice president when Comcast rapidly expanded its workforce between 2005 and 2008. She is one of the company's top African American executives. "It's time for me to leave," Lillie said, adding, "I want to start a new chapter. I'm not exactly sure what the next chapter is, but I'm ready for a change.
August 14, 2016 |
Kinks with the virtual reality version of the Rio Olympics have been driving tech lovers crazy. Thursday night, this early adopter lit into Comcast techies with his frustrations, as they showed off VR clips loaded onto Samsung Gear VR goggles to visitors at a Comcast Center Olympics celebration. Twice we heard the response, "It's not our fault; it's an NBC Sports problem. " Kind of ironic, since NBC is a Comcast division. Comcast senior technical fellow Mark Francisco and colleagues agreed to take on the complaints quickly with the NBC powers that be. And by the next morning, one serious wrong was righted with a fresh update of the NBC Sports VR app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone.
August 8, 2016 |
It's a Friday in late July, and the 15th floor of the Comcast Center teems with more than 150 engineers, technicians, and product developers, who drink lemonade and nibble cookies as they pitch inventions that may be the next big thing at Comcast. One engineer talks about "Ralph," voice controls that turn business phones, computers, and security on or off. Another explains a "push alert" for Xfinity Home that would warn Comcast subscribers when a neighbor's house has been burglarized.
July 29, 2016 |
Comcast Corp.'s second-quarter revenues rose a slim 2.8 percent and the company reported a modest drop in profits as its slate of Hollywood movies - rocket-fueled in 2015 by the release of Furious 7 and Jurassic World - failed to repeat that success. Otherwise the cable and entertainment conglomerate had a solid quarter as its cable-TV business continued to heal - video subscriber losses were a negligible 4,000 compared with 69,000 in the year-ago quarter - and NBC broadcast-TV revenue rose 17 percent on more licensing and retransmission fees.