Comcast Corporation, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the largest cable company in the United States. They develop broadband cable networks and are involved in electronic retailing and television programming content.
Comcast was founded in 1963 by Ralph J. Roberts , Daniel Aaron , and Julian A. Brodsky in Tupelo, Mississippi. The company was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1969, under the name Comcast Corporation from American Cable Systems.
Moving into the area of programming content, Comcast became majority owner of Comcast-Spectacor , Comcast SportsNet (in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington / Baltimore metro), E! Entertainment Television and Style Network, G4, The Golf Channel and the Outdoor Life Network over a period of years.
The UK division was sold to NTL in 1998. After the sale of their cellular division to SBC Communications of San Antonio and the acquisition of Greater Philadelphia Cablevision in 1999, Comcast and MediaOne announced a $60 billion merger which did not occur until three years later.
In 2001, Comcast announced they would acquire the assets of AT&T Broadband (AT&T's cable TV service). In 2002 Comcast acquired all assets of AT&T Broadband, thus making Comcast the largest cable television company in the United States.
The company employs 68,000 people.
In 2002, Comcast paid the University of Maryland an undisclosed amount for naming rights to the new basketball arena built on the campus, named Comcast Center.
The company has traded on the NASDAQ since 1972, and its shares are currently offered under the ticker symbols (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and (NASDAQ: CMCSK).
- Chairman, President, and CEO: Brian L. Roberts (son of Ralph J. Roberts)
- EVP and COO; President, Comcast Cable: Stephen B. (Steve) Burke
- EVP and Co-CFO: Lawrence S. Smith
- see List of assets owned by Comcast
Comcast bought 25% of Group W Cable in 1986, doubling their size. Two years later, they bought a 50% share in Storer Communications, Inc. They bought the American Cellular Network Corporation the same year before combining with Metrophone in 1990. Comcast became the third largest cable operator in 1994 following their purchase of Maclean Hunter's. Comcast owned the majority of the electronic retailer QVC from 1995 until 2004 when its share was sold to Liberty Media. Following other acquisitions, Microsoft invested $1 billion in Comcast in 1997.
On February 11, 2004, Comcast surprised the media industry by announcing an unsolicited $66 billion bid for The Walt Disney Company, a deal that would make Comcast the largest media conglomerate in the world. After rejection by Disney and uncertain response from investors, the bid was abandoned in April.
Comcast announced on March 25, 2004 that their new gaming-oriented television network G4 (operated by subsidiary G4 Media, Inc.) would acquire Vulcan Venture's technology-oriented television network TechTV, resulting in a merger. The deal was finalized on May 10, 2004 - and the two networks were merged to become G4techTV on May 28, 2004. On January 11, 2005, Comcast announced that it would drop the TechTV name and become G4 once again.
On April 8, 2005, a partnership led by Comcast and Sony Pictures finalized a deal to acquire MGM and its affiliate studio, United Artists, and thereby creating an additional outlet to carry MGM/UA's material for cable and internet distribution.