U.S. Senators Vote to Gut Internet Privacy Rules

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The U.S. Senate sent Internet privacy down the drain on Thursday when it voted to repeal Obama-era rules aimed at protecting consumers’ online data. Without the rules, Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon can share and sell your web browsing history with advertisers without your permission.

The privacy rules, passed last year by the Federal Communications Commission, required Internet providers to get a customer’s permission before sharing their personal information such as geolocation, financial and health information, as well as children’s information, with third-party advertisers. Passed in October, the rules haven’t even taken effect yet, but a vote from the House, where the resolution is headed next, could effectively kill the consumer protection altogether. Read more »

Neil Smit Bows Out As Comcast Cable CEO

Image courtesy of Comcast.

Image courtesy of Comcast.

After seven years as Comcast Cable CEO, Neil Smit will step down from the role on April 1st, and he’ll be replaced by Comcast Cable executive Dave Watson, the company announced on Monday.

In a statement Smit cited injuries he sustained from his previous career as reasons why he’s changing positions. And approaching 60, the executive said he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family. Before entering the corporate world and working in leadership at companies like Charter, AOL, and Nabisco, Smit was a Navy SEAL, serving as a member of SEAL Team Six. Read more »

Comcast’s NBC Invested $500M in Snapchat

Snapchat and NBC logos

Thursday was the date of the IPO for Snap, the parent company of the popular Snapchat app. It was the largest U.S. IPO since 2014, and the IPO price gave the company an initial market capitalization of $19.7 billion.

One of the companies that invested in Snap was a division of Comcast, NBCUniversal. In an exclusive report, another division of Comcast (CNBC) reports that NBCU invested $500 million in Snap. Read more »

Comcast Is Bringing YouTube to X1

YouTube on X1

Image via Comcast

You’ll soon be able to view YouTube videos right from your Comcast cable box.

Comcast and Google announced today that YouTube would soon be available on X1 for customers who have both Xfinity cable and internet.

“We are excited to partner with Google to bring YouTube to X1 and provide our customers easier access to all the content they love in one place,” Sam Schwartz, Comcast Cable’s chief business development officer, said in a release. “By integrating YouTube into the X1 experience, viewers can simply and effortlessly access videos on any topic, from cooking, to beauty and fitness with just their voice.” Read more »

Rising Online Media Co. MyNEWPhilly Lands Deal With Comcast

Image via MyNEWPhilly YouTube.

MyNEWPhilly founder Kyree Terrell. Image via MyNEWPhilly YouTube.

Philly’s rising online media company MyNEWPhilly recently struck a deal with Comcast that places a direct link to the platform on the cable giant’s Xfinity.com homepage.

MyNEWPhilly bills itself as an alternative news media outlet. Instead of producing segments about Philly’s crime or poverty, the team has produced more than 1,000 original short videos that highlight Philadelphia’s beauty, mostly geared toward millennials and young professionals. Some of the platform’s segments include “Not Just Cheesesteaks,” which explores Philly’s culinary scene; “Datequette,” which discusses dating in Philly; and “The Fitting Room,” which covers Philly’s style scene. They’ve also produced hundreds of segments in real estate, sports, technology, fitness, and entertainment. Read more »

Comcast’s Surprisingly Viral Future

Illustration by Kyle Hilton

Illustration by Kyle Hilton

I first wrote about Comcast for this magazine in 1991, when a few hundred million dollars and endless spools of coaxial cable were all you needed. I traced how the Philadelphia company had exploded across America, gulping one dorky regional cable TV company after another. I whined jealously about newly minted president Brian Roberts, who at age 31 was handed control of a $657 million corporation by his father, who’d built it, while I was living on a block at 3rd and Arch that Comcast hadn’t even bothered to wire for cable yet.

Twenty-six years later, Comcast is an $80.4 billion company that has become the country’s second biggest provider of TV shows and largest provider of Internet service by following a simple rule: If someone is eating your lunch, eat them. Read more »

Comcast NBCUniversal to Bring BuzzFeed to a TV Near You

(360b/Shutterstock)

(360b/Shutterstock)

Comcast NBCUniversal has bet big on BuzzFeed in the last year and a half — the company has funneled a total of $400 million to the young digital media powerhouse — and now, the partnership between the two companies just got realer.

The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that BuzzFeed and NBCU TV will collaborate to bring BuzzFeed content to television. But they won’t be broadcasting viral cat videos: Instead, the two companies are producing a true-crime docuseries — think Netflix’s Making a Murder and HBO’s Jinxed — based on a BuzzFeed News investigative story about a Mississippi teenager who was burned alive in 2014. The investigative story has been one of BuzzFeed’s most popular. Read more »

Comcast Should Stop Saying Its Internet Is America’s Fastest

The Comcast Center

The Comcast Center

Consumers have long been suspicious about the fine print in Comcast’s bundle deals and now they have reason to be wary about what the company says in the big print, too.

Ever seen those ads where the cable giant claims to provide the “fastest Internet in America” or the “fastest in-home Wifi”? Well the telecom giant’s scrapping those phrases stat. According to a ruling from the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) this week, administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, those claims are misleading.

Comcast relies on speed data from on particular source, and according to the board, that source may be leaving out significant details that serve to undermine Comcast’s “fastest internet” claims.

Read more »

Owner of Comcast Condos Revealed!

We now know who owns those 45th-floor condos: Comcast's chief honcho.

We now know who owns those 45th-floor condos: Comcast’s chief honcho.

The one thing Natalie Kostelni, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s ace real estate reporter, couldn’t find out when she broke the news (paywall) that the new Comcast Technology Center will have three condominium residences this past Monday was the actual identity of the buyer of the units.

The Philadelphia Inquirer now has that information.

Jacob Adelman reports that the buyer is Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and his wife Aileen.

The report also cites an interview with Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David Cohen, in which he says that the units will be Four Seasons Residences, managed by the Four Seasons Hotel that will occupy the building’s top floors.

But will the Robertses live in one of the condos? Read more »

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