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BUSINESS
January 6, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Few products or services are free in America. But since the dawn of TV time, the broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have been free to viewers who grabbed their signals out of the air with rabbit ears. Later, those networks were distributed freely - at least, without a cash fee - to subscribers as part of basic cable-TV packages. Now, after several years of TV blackouts and hardball negotiating tactics, the Big Four networks (including Fox) are being paid substantial new fees by cable- and satellite-TV companies for the rights to distribute their entertainment and news programs over local stations.
SPORTS
January 4, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies became the latest professional sports franchise to reap the benefits of the booming television market when they agreed Thursday to a long-term extension with Comcast SportsNet that will be worth billions. Comcast SportsNet announced the deal in a statement sent to local news organizations. Terms were not released, although a source said the agreement is for at least 20 years. The two sides' current deal was set to expire after the 2015 season. "We're pleased to confirm that NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet have signed a new long-term deal with the Philadelphia Phillies that will expand Comcast SportsNet's role as the Phillies' primary TV partner," the statement said.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seeking a ratings edge in local TV news, NBC10 says it will get its sports coverage from the 150-employee Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. The partnership, announced Monday, had been rumored since Comcast Corp. acquired control of NBCUniversal in early 2011. At the time, Comcast said there were synergies between the companies and executives pointed to local sports TV news as one of them. Beginning in January, Comcast SportsNet will produce and provide complete sports coverage for the NBC10 newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m., said Brian Monihan, president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
November 1, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp., the cable-TV and media giant, reported Wednesday that third-quarter revenue fell 2.4 percent because of an unfavorable comparison with the previous year, when its top line was boosted by a $1.2 billion blast of TV and Internet advertising associated with the London Olympic Games. Third-quarter profits also took an 18 percent hit because of a separate unfavorable comparison. A year ago, those profits were inflated with the cash proceeds of the sale of wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless and Comcast's sale of its stake in A&E Television Networks L.L.C.
BUSINESS
October 6, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The head of the Comcast Corp.-owned Telemundo network, Emilio Romano, is leaving the company in the latest shuffle of NBCUniversal executives. Telemundo is a distant second in the fast-growing Spanish-language TV market, with a goal of closing the gap with top-watched Univision. NBCUniversal's Hispanic Enterprise and Content Group, which includes Telemundo, is now run by former Univision executive Joseph Uva. He reports to Steve Burke, the chief executive officer at NBCUniversal.
NEWS
September 14, 2013 | By Inga Saffron and Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writers
Comcast Corp., which runs its growing media empire from Philadelphia's tallest skyscraper, is considering building at least one new tower in Center City and is working with the prominent British architect Norman Foster, according to sources in the city's real estate community. Details about Comcast's expansion plans are being kept under tight wraps, but the company appears to be focusing on constructing the first of several towers on a long, skinny, 1.5-acre site at 18th and Arch Streets, a block west of the Comcast Center.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jeff Shell, a former Comcast Corp. programming executive in Philadelphia, will head the Universal film studio as Steve Burke and Comcast Corp. tighten their grip on Hollywood. Shell is the latest top executive installed by Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal and a confidant of Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts. Shell headed entertainment programming at Comcast before the cable giant acquired NBCUniversal. He trotted the globe developing deals for NBCUniversal over the last two years, a position many inside Comcast viewed as tailored to give him exposure and retain him for a more glamorous job. He had been based in London.
BUSINESS
August 19, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
A new era in the mega-billions cable-TV sports business launched Saturday. Fox Sports kicked off the 24-hour Fox Sports 1, and NBCUniversal televised for the first time Premier League soccer matches. NBC has said it would cover every Premier League game - 380 of them. In two years, Comcast Corp.-owned NBC Sports Network will add to its programming late-season NASCAR races, some of the most-watched sporting events on television, after a stunning 10-year deal in July. Comcast took TV rights for those races from ESPN and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. The reported $4.4 billion for NASCAR is the same that Comcast paid to televise the Olympics through 2020 on the NBC broadcast-TV network and the NBCUniversal cable channels.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steady growth in broadband subscribers. Innovative technology for delivering television and WiFi. Boffo box office from films such as Universal Pictures' Fast and Furious 6 , and high notes in the Nielsens from TV shows such as NBC's The Voice . Comcast Corp. wowed Wall Street on Wednesday with strong quarterly results that beat analysts' expectations. Executives of the Philadelphia-based cable giant, which employs about 6,000 people in the city, were plainly pleased with their decision to complete the takeover of NBCUniversal this spring, saying it helped position the company to grow in a variety of directions.
BUSINESS
July 17, 2013
In the Region June revenue up at Pa. casino tables Pennsylvania's 11 casinos generated $59.5 million in table games revenue in June, up 4.2 percent from a year ago. Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, with 183 tables, was the leader at $16.9 million; second place was Parx Casino in Bensalem with 166 tables, which grossed $9.1 million. Two other Philadelphia-area casinos rounded out the top four - SugarHouse placed third at $6.7 million from 58 tables, and Harrah's Philadelphia grossed $6.3 million from 121. For the fiscal year ending June 30, total table-games revenue at the state's gambling houses was $713.1 million, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous fiscal year's total of $663.9 million.
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