It's official: Comcast Corp.
is the world's biggest media company as of the end of 2015, beating
out rivals like The Walt Disney Company
, Time Warner Cable
, and 21
It is still the United States' largest broadband provider, with
over 22 million high-speed Internet customers. Comcast has an
impressive market value of $147.8 billion thanks to $68.8 billion
in sales, $8.4 billion in profits, and almost $160 billion in
Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast has
created a media empire over the years due to smart acquisitions and
media asset-building. Let's take a look at what the media and
entertainment conglomerate owns and operates.
Comcast has a big foothold in the entertainment industry, with
many of its assets falling in film and television.
Comcast owns popular film studio Universal Studios; it is
considered one of Hollywood's "Big 6" film studios along with
Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures
Motion Picture Group, Fox Filmed Entertainment, and Paramount
Motion Pictures Group.
The studio has produced classic films like
To Kill A Mockingbird
, Alfred Hitchcock's
, as well as the recent blockbuster
and 2016 awards season nominee
Universal operates smaller film studio divisions including
Illumination Entertainment, art house film-centered Focus Features,
Working Title Films, Universal Animation Studios, Universal
Interactive, Universal Pictures International, and Universal
Studios Home Entertainment.
Recently, Comcast's NBCUniversal division acquired DreamWorks
Animation studio for roughly $3.8 billion. While DreamWorks is best
known for its hit animated franchises
Kung Fu Panda
, much of the studio's value to Comcast is in the so-called "long
tail" of amusement park integrations, merchandise, and other
Its most prominent media company is NBCUniversal, which
-the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network (includes NBC
Entertainment, NBC News, NBC Sports, and NBC Studios)
-the NBCUniversal Television Group (Universal Television,
NBCUniversal Television Distribution, and NBC-owned local
television stations around the country)
-NBCUniversal Cable (includes popular channels like Bravo, E!,
and USA Network, as well as CNBC, MSNBC, mun2, Chiller, SyFy,
Sleuth, and Universal HD)
The company also owns The Weather Channel Companies with private
equity firm Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group
. This includes the popular Weather Channel and its interactive
and mobile and desktop versions.
Through NBCUniversal, Comcast dabbles heavily in sports under
NBC Sports Group. This includes the television channels Universal
Sports Network, NBCSN, and the Golf Channel, in addition to Comcast
Other sports-themed ventures include the MLB Network in
partnership with Major League Baseball and other providers,
SportsNet New York in partnership with the New York Mets and Time
Warner, Comcast Sports Southeast/Charter Sports Southeast in
partnership with Charter Communications
, and the NHL Network in partnership with the National Hockey
The company also has a large international presence with
Universal Networks International. The division is comprised of:
-LAPTV (Latin America Pay Television Service), a
television company that Comcast co-owns with Viacom
-owned Paramount Pictures, MGM Studios, and News Corp
-Brazil-based Telecine, which is co-owned with Globosat
Canais, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, MGM, and 20
-Universal Channel Latin America and Universal Channel
-SyFy Latin America
-Telemundo, which includes many local Hispanic television
Comcast did not become the country's biggest cable provider
without acquiring valuable companies along the way.
In 1985, Comcast, along with American Television and
Communications (a Time, Inc.
subsidiary), Tele-Communications, Daniels & Associates, and the
Century Southwest Communications Corporation, bought Group W Cable,
a division of Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
In 2001, it bought the largest cable television operator at the
time, AT&T Broadband, a division of AT&T, Inc.
, for over $44 billion.
In 2005, Comcast announced that it had bought Susquehanna
Communications, a South Central Pennsylvania-based cable
television and broadband services provider and unit of the former
Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff company, for $775 million in cash. This
gave the company about 230,000 basic cable customers, 71,000
digital cable customers, and 86,000 high-speed Internet
In partnership with Time Warner in 2006, Comcast purchased the
majority the floundering Adelphia Communications Corporation, which
was the fifth largest cable company in the U.S. before filing for
And in 2010, Comcast began promoting its Xfinity service that
includes what they call their "triple play" services: digital
cable, cable Internet access, and cable telephone. Today, most of
Comcast's cable services have changed names to reflect the Xfinity
brand: Comcast Digital Cable has been renamed "Xfinity TV," Comcast
Digital Voice became "Xfinity Voice," and Comcast High-Speed
Internet has been renamed "Xfinity Internet."
Other Business Units
In order to cash in on digital trends, Comcast created a
division called Comcast Interactive Media; this unit includes
XFINITY.com and xfintityTV.com, popular movie ticket service
Fandango, entertainment ticketing company New Era Tickets, online
video publishing company thePlatform, and StreamSage.
The company also owns and operates sports and entertainment
venues under the division Comcast Spectacor. Through this unit,
Comcast owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL; it also owns and
manages the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
As part of its NBCUniversal division, Comcast owns and operates its
theme park subsidiary Universal Parks and Resorts. There are
currently four running parks: Universal Studios Hollywood in Los
Angeles; Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida; Universal
Studios Japan in Osaka, and Universal Studios Singapore in
Comcast partnered with Disney and 21
Century Fox to form Hulu, a video-streaming entity that is
Netflix's (NFLX) biggest competitor.
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