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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