Comcast Revenues Skyrocket in Second Quarter

It’s good to be the king.

Philly-based Comcast brought in $16.8 billion in revenues during the second quarter of 2014, a 3.5 percent increase over 2013. It did so even though it lost 144,000 cable subscribers nationwide during the quarter — a number offset by the addition 203,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and a 22 percent increase in the company’s increasingly important “business services” offerings.

The company generated 76 cents of earnings per share, compared to 65 cents per share a year ago.

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Comcast: Awful Retention Call “What We Trained Him to Do”

Following last week’s embarrassing recording of a Comcast customer service rep chastising a customer for cutting the company’s service, a senior official has admitted the employee was doing “what we trained him to do.”

Consumerist has the memo to employees from Comcast COO Dave Watson.  “The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other Retention agents — to do,” Watson wrote. “He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect.”

The full memo after the jump:

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Comcast’s Cohen, AT&T to Perform Pro-Merger Duet in D.C. Today

David-Cohen-940x540Just ahead of the end of the FCC’s comment period on net neutrality on Friday, Comcast executive VP David L. Cohen and AT&T chief strategy officer John Stankey are scheduled to appear before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee this afternoon to talk up their companies’ respective $45.2 billion (Time Warner Cable) and $48.5 billion (DirecTV) merger offers.

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Comcast Rep Unloads “Customer Retention” Napalm on Innocent Couple

UPDATE, 7/15, 8 p.m.: The rep has been placed on administrative leave while the company investigates the incident.

ORIGINAL: If you’ve been thinking about changing or canceling your Comcast service, now may be the time — because the company is going to have to be extra nice to everyone to quell a sure-to-mushroom PR disaster resulting from the release of audio of one of its “customer retention” specialists scorching a San Francisco couple for attempting to disconnect their Internet account.

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Sprout to Begin Filming in New York City

chica I used to work in the Comcast Center. One of the fun things about working there was the frequency with which you’d see actors from the kids’ cable channel Sprout. Not that I would notice them — I have no idea who they are — but my co-workers with kids would point them out, often overly excited that the pretty man or woman they saw on television was now there, in the flesh, in the Comcast lobby. (I assume kids’ shows put model-like actors and actresses on their shows to give the parents more reason to pay attention.) One time, Chica — the star of two Sprout hits, The Sunny Side Up Show (in puppet form) and The Chica Show (in cartoon form) — even made an appearance at the building! Not that it mattered to me, but it was nice to see some excited co-workers.

Sprout has been producing live programming and other segments at the Comcast Center since the building opened. Sadly, some of this is coming to an end. The channel will start producing its live morning show at 30 Rock in Manhattan this fall, in the hopes that celebrities will stop by after appearing on Today. A sensible decision, probably, but one that’s a little disappointing. (Or not. Perhaps you’re saying, “Who cares?”) NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast, purchased full control in Sprout from PBS and Apax Partners, a private equity firm, last November. PBS Kids was dropped from the title and Comcast could now do whatever it wanted with the channel!

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Morning Headlines: New Details on Comcast Skyscraper

Rendering of CITC. Photo courtesy of Comcast Corporate.

Rendering of CITC.
Image via Comcast Corporate.

After getting the regulatory process over three months ago, construction will soon begin on the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, a joint project between Comcast and developer Liberty Property Trust.

The future 18th and Arch tower will include a Four Seasons Hotel with 222 rooms, as well as office space for the broadcasting/cable bigwig, which, according to PBJ’s Natalie Kostelni, made some changes to its lease:

Comcast has expanded the amount of space that it will occupy. The cable giant signed a 20-years lease on 982,275 square feet, or about 74 percent of the 1.33-million-square-foot building. It had initially taken 957,000 square feet.

The 59-story structure, to-be the city’s tallest tower (and the tallest building outside of New York and Chicago), has a $933 million price tag, of which $40 million comes from public city and state funds. The latter amount “will go toward infrastructure improvements, such as extending the subway concourse.”

Comcast skyscraper construction begins; new details emerge [Business Journal]

In other news…

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Brian Roberts Is Still the CEO of Comcast

Deadline Hollywood reports that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, whose family controls the company, heas extended his contract to stay in that position through 2015. “According to a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Roberts earned $31.36 million last year, up from $29.1 million in 2012.” Roberts is currently overseeing Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable. 

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