Monday, February 01, 2010
They offer competitive cable TV features like On Demand, a digital library with 24-hour access to additional programming for children and adults, including newly released movies. They offer Pay Per View selections that include live sporting and music events, featuring well-known athletes and artists. Comcast Cable offers a DVR, the digital video recorder that records and stores programming, and allows viewers to fast forward, pause or rewind selections found on Pay Per View and On Demand. Comcast Cable also provides Parental Controls for their regular cable programming, the programming stored on the DVR and their online services.
Comcast Cable also provides broadband and digital phone services, two other important services that most people want in their homes. As a provider for all three of these services, Comcast Cable has been able to provide important services for entire communities, making it possible for loved ones to communicate with elderly relatives or giving the children in the house an outlet for their energy with educational programming or online games.
Their rates and fees are competitive with other Pay TV programming companies, but Comcast Cable has been feeling the pressure to enhance and expand on their products and features due to the expansion of other companies in other areas. Companies like Direct TV have started to offer online services and phone services, in addition to their programming packages. These programming packages offer cable TV channels, as well as other channels that Comcast Cable does not have.
As a result, Comcast Cable is trying to acquire 51% of NBC Universal. This acquisition would make it possible to satisfy customers with immediate access to programming on mobile devices like cell phones. It would also decrease the wait time on receiving newly released movies, just out of the theater, on Comcast Cable’s On Demand feature, increasing the viewing options currently available to Comcast Cable’s customers.
The acquisition would also give Comcast Cable the advantage with its competitors, making them come to Comcast Cable to gain access to the networks or programming Comcast Cable would control.
If the acquisition is made, Comcast Cable will gain control of the NBC network, Telemundo, USA, SyFy, the Weather Channel, Universal Pictures, and certain other cable channels, including certain sports channels. The acquisition would also provide Comcast Cable control over certain theme parks.
Some shareholders and consumer rights’ groups are concerned that the acquisition would drive up rates for monthly subscribers and drive down stock values. To answer these concerns, Comcast Cable has promised a dividend increase of 40% and a buyback option for shareholders that want to sell. There has been no mention of rate increases thus far.
Comcast Cable hopes to offer even more services and programming selections to their customers than is currently available, with an increase in availability for mobile device customers. No decision has been reached yet, but news should be forth coming shortly.