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OPINION
October 6, 2009
Comcast Corp. has amassed the country's largest cable TV operation, serving nearly one out of every four homes that pays for television programming. Yet it's not satisfied just to pipe entertainment and information to subscribers' TV sets and computers. It wants to own more of the content flowing through the systems it has built in California and 38 other states. Its latest gambit is a bid to control the entertainment assets of NBC Universal, including the NBC television network and Universal Studios.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Meg James
Comcast Corp. has signed a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment that will increase the number of titles offered for sale through Comcast's recently launched digital store. The deal with Sony is noteworthy because it allows Comcast customers to purchase digital copies of such Oscar-nominated movies as "American Hustle," and "Captain Phillips" from Comcast's Xfinity On Demand digital service. "American Hustle" will be available beginning Tuesday, and "Captain Phillips" and other movies, including "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2," will be available within a few weeks.
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BUSINESS
June 30, 2009 | Associated Press
Comcast Corp. plans to become the first major cable TV operator to roll out wireless broadband service outside of Wi-Fi hot spots. The Philadelphia-based company said it would launch the service today in Portland, Ore., with at least three other cities -- Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago -- to follow this year. The service, which uses WiMax technology, offers speeds of up to 4 megabits per second, faster than any comparable non-Wi-Fi service being marketed.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
The advocacy group Consumers Union is urging federal regulators to scrutinize the deal struck between cable giant Comcast Corp. and the Internet streaming service Netflix. Netflix agreed to pay to directly connect to Comcast's network to improve the video quality of movies and TV shows streamed to subscribers, after many complained about deteriorating quality. Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports magazine, called on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and U.S. Atty.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2010
Comcast Corp. reported sharply higher fourth-quarter earnings, propelled mainly by a boost in broadband and phone revenue, and unveiled a new brand for its core cable TV operations as it transforms into a media conglomerate. On the eve of congressional hearings on its proposed purchase of a controlling stake in NBC Universal, Comcast said it would change the name of its cable TV, Internet and phone services to XFinity. The new brand will roll out in 11 markets Feb. 12 and expand nationally thereafter.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Some small cable networks are worried that a combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable will make getting distribution more difficult. In a memo to his staff, Eric Sherman, chief executive of health and wellness channel Veria Living, said he is "not optimistic that this new development will be good for us or other independent networks. " Owned by Indian media giant Zee Group, Veria Living is a specialty channel that focuses on Eastern wellness practices. Its programs include "Got Zen?"
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Comcast Corp. said its cable systems will stop accepting ads for guns or from retail outlets promoting gun sales as part of a new policy. A spokesman for the nation's largest cable operator said the approach is similar to one its entertainment unit NBCUniversal has for its broadcast TV stations. The moves come in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that left 26 people dead. This doesn't mean Comcast is going completely gun-free. The NBC Sports Network, a cable channel, will continue to accept advertisements for weapons that are used for hunting, such as shotguns and rifles.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast to ensure the subscription service's movies and TV shows stream seamlessly in a deal that underscores the power of distribution in the digital era - and could mean higher rates for consumers. The nation's leading online video service and the largest U.S. provider of home Internet access said the agreement is designed to ensure that Netflix subscribers can watch the new season of "House of Cards" and other content free of the pauses and hiccups subscribers have reported in recent months.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By David Lazarus
So will Comcast's roughly $45-billion merger with Time Warner Cable be good for consumers? To no one's surprise, Comcast Chief Executive Brian L. Roberts said Thursday that the answer is a resounding yes. Consumers will be the big winners here, he said. In Roberts' words, the merger would be "pro-consumer," "pro-competitive" and "in the public's interest. " But will it? The merger would allow Comcast to dominate the cable industry and to be the big dog in 19 of the nation's 20 largest pay-TV markets.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | By Jon Healey
Can your cable or broadband service get any worse? That's the question that comes to mind when reading the doom-and-gloom coverage of Comcast's $45-billion purchase of Time Warner Cable. One of the most common predictions from critics: the new company will push cable and broadband prices even higher than Comcast or Time Warner Cable have been able to do separately. That's because of the leverage Comcast will gain by acquiring Time Warner Cable. The combined company would hold about 30% of the pay-TV market (and roughly half of all customers served by a cable operator)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James
The landmark deal between Comcast Corp. and Netflix Inc. resolves a simmering dispute over who will support America's growing Internet video habit. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for a direct connection to the cable operator's broadband networks to ensure that Netflix customers receive an uninterrupted viewing experience when streaming movies and TV shows. The agreement, which was confirmed this weekend, comes after Netflix customers complained about deteriorating service, as videos they tried to watch stuttered and stalled in midstream.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2014 | David Lazarus
Netflix is paying cable giant Comcast a pile of cash for what the companies say will be "no preferential network treatment. " Sure, because corporations routinely give money to one another just for the fun of it. The reality is that Netflix is handing Comcast an unspecified chunk of change, likely millions of dollars, for what they say is a "more direct connection" to the cable company's broadband network. That's preferential treatment. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Some small cable networks are worried that a combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable will make getting distribution more difficult. In a memo to his staff, Eric Sherman, chief executive of health and wellness channel Veria Living, said he is "not optimistic that this new development will be good for us or other independent networks. " Owned by Indian media giant Zee Group, Veria Living is a specialty channel that focuses on Eastern wellness practices. Its programs include "Got Zen?"
NEWS
February 24, 2014 | By Jon Healey
The news media sounded a collective alarm Monday after Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for the privilege of streaming videos directly to Netflix subscribers who use Comcast's broadband network. The deal could lead to " higher rates for consumers . " It " may deal a setback to net neutralty " or even make it " obsolete " (and not in a good way). It's another sign that broadband ISPs are " gaining leverage " over content companies. Any or all of this speculation may prove to be true.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Updated to correct the name of Netflix's Open Connect initiative. Netflix Inc. has agreed to pay Comcast Corp. to ensure the online service's subscribers get seamless access to movies and TV shows delivered over the Internet, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal, which has been nearly a year in the making, would give Netflix direct access to Comcast's high-speed network, the two companies confirmed Sunday.  Terms were not disclosed. FACES TO WATCH 2014: Digital media The agreement could set a precedent in Netflix's dealings with other Internet access providers, such as AT&T and Verizon Communications.  For Netflix users who are Comcast subscribers, the pact should mean better quality.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast to ensure the subscription service's movies and TV shows stream seamlessly in a deal that underscores the power of distribution in the digital era - and could mean higher rates for consumers. The nation's leading online video service and the largest U.S. provider of home Internet access said the agreement is designed to ensure that Netflix subscribers can watch the new season of "House of Cards" and other content free of the pauses and hiccups subscribers have reported in recent months.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2010 | Bloomberg News
NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeffrey Zucker will step down once Comcast Corp. completes its takeover of the company, giving the new owners a chance to reshape management. Zucker, 45, told employees today of his decision to leave the company where he has spent his entire working career. Parent General Electric Co. also announced the decision in an internal memo.
BUSINESS
July 11, 2012 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
Comcast Corp. has struck a deal to sell its minority stake in A&E Television Networks — whose holdings include cable channels A&E, History and Lifetime — for $3 billion. Although the sale was expected, the price tag was higher than Comcast originally thought its holdings were worth. Two months ago, when Comcast first disclosed that it had exercised an option to unload its 15.8% piece of A&E Television Networks to majority owners Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., it said its stake was worth $2 billion.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Joe Flint
The new distribution contract CBS Corp. signed with Time Warner Cable Inc. last summer after a bitter fight could be a casualty of Comcast Corp.'s proposed acquisition of the pay-TV operator. According to people familiar with the deal, it does not include provisions protecting all the terms of the pact should Time Warner Cable be acquired by a distributor with a sweeter arrangement. These people requested anonymity because the agreement is confidential. Terms of the CBS-Time Warner Cable pact were never publicly disclosed, but Comcast, which signed a 10-year distribution agreement with CBS in 2010, is believed to be paying a lower fee to carry the network's TV stations.
OPINION
February 14, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the country's two largest cable TV operators, generated a predictable wave of outrage from opponents of corporate consolidation. With about 30% of all pay-TV customers served by its wires, the combined company would have extraordinary leverage when negotiating with television networks over the fees for their programming. It also would be the gatekeeper to a third of all U.S. homes with broadband. Those are scary scenarios for consumers and content companies.
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