Comcast and some of its competitors have seen a stock bounce this year, causing analysts to see basic cable service as recessionproof. Thats good news for a company expecting to post $50 million in losses this year, as it expands its flagship station, QVC, and develops its new business-to-business division.
Under the leadership of CEO Brian L. Roberts, Comcast had $8.2 billion in revenue in 2000, and expects to have 8.4 million customers when a transaction with AT&T closes this month.
If 1998 and 1999 were Comcasts digital cable development years, then 2000 was dedicated to the launch of its Comcast@Home broadband service; 2001 will be devoted to introducing video-on-demand services; and 2002 is earmarked for integrated TV replay.
The company has made a major commitment to broadband development through Comcast@Home and Comcast Business Communications, which plans to offer broadband services to businesses in Baltimore, Detroit and Philadelphia by years end.
"We see a 30 percent growth opportunity," says Dave Watson, executive vice president at Comcast. Its a bit of an underserved market in data, in particular for small and medium-sized businesses."