Comcast CEO Interview

[via Rafat Ali] WSJ has an interview with Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast:

Our desire is to reach out to content companies whether we are an owner or a partner or a purchaser. Right now, we are the world’s largest purchaser of programming content, about $4 billion a year. We think a lot of customers will want to store that content on a box in their house — their digital-video recorder. But most customers will want much more content than the 100 to 200 hours you can store on a box. If you could access 10,000 hours, maybe someday you’ll be able to access 30,000 hours or virtually unlimited content. That would be nirvana.

We’ve been saying for the last five years we wanted to turn Comcast into a new-products company. In the next couple months and years we’re going to have digital-video recorders and voice-over-IP phones. We already have high-definition television and video on-demand. We’re also already planning on the next suite of products: videophones, video chat, interactive television, Internet search capabilities and interactive advertising.

We’re approaching seven million users on Comcast’s high speed Internet service… We also have video on-demand and a very exciting arrangement with Sony and MGM to get lots of movies and a deal with the NFL. In fact, we think eventually 10,000 hours will be available on demand. And if you then overlay that with access to the Internet, there is virtually unlimited content that consumers will be able to access on a television, a PC and perhaps on a mobile device. There is constantly going to be a need to make it easy for consumers to access what they want when they want it. Call it a search engine. Call it a portal. Call it an on-screen guide or navigation device.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.