10 Things You May Not Know About Comcast

Most investors probably know the basics of Comcast's history:

The cable giant started as a regional company in 1963 and has since become a far-reaching media empire.

In addition to having to more Internet customers of any company, it's also the second largest pay-television provider in the United States after AT&T , which took the top spot after it bought DirecTV. In addition, the media giant also owns NBC, its associated cable networks, the Universal film company, and the Universal Studios theme parks. The company also has a controlling interest in the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, and it formerly owned the National Basketball Association's Philadelphia 76ers.

It's a very diverse company that owns everything from the Bravo Network to the Shrek movies. But, just because it's a high-profile brand, that doesn't mean people know everything about it. Here are 10 things you may not have known about Comcast.

1. Microsoft once invested $1 billion in Comcast. The deal, which was made in 1997, was to "enhance Comcast's deployment of high-speed data and video services via its cable delivery network," according to a press release . The deal was made to give the tech company a way into the growing feed of video and data into people's homes at a time when the Internet was still developing. It was supposed to involve Microsoft software on a Comcast cable box, but that never panned out.

In 2009, Microsoft cashed out its stake, which was worth between "as little as $1.97 billion or as much as $3.4 billion," The New York Times reported .

2. Four of the top five domestic opening weekend box office hits belong to Disney ( Star Wars: The Force Awakens, both Avengers movies, Iron Man 3 ), while the the fifth is second-place Jurassic World , a Universal release. Until The Force Awakens recorded its $247 million U.S. opening, the dinosaur film from the Comcast-owned studio had topped the chart with $208 million.

3. Disney is not just Comcast's rival at the movies -- both companies also have theme park divisions, and both were bidders for the Harry Potter property, which has been a huge hit for Universal Studios at its Florida park and soon-to-be at its California locations. When the property was put up for bidding, Disney reportedly passed during the 2007 auction because author J.K. Rowling wanted creative control.

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10. In 2004, Comcast made a $54 billion stock-swap offer for Disney, according to Bloomberg . Disney's "rejection caused its own stock to rise and Comcast's to lose ground, depleting Comcast's negotiating power," the news site reported, and the offer was pulled.

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The article 10 Things You May Not Know About Comcast originally appeared on

Daniel Kline owns shares of Microsoft. He prefers Universal's rides to Disney's but thinks Disney manages its parks better. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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