COMCAST CEO: Netflix Won't Kill Us - In Fact, It's Good For Our Business!

Brian Roberts

Fortune hosted a breakfast at the Time Warner centre this morning with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Fortune editor Andy Serwer.

The discussion was wide-ranging (including whether Roberts would ever appear on 30 Rock.  Answer: He hasn’t been asked) and highlighted the unique position Comcast finds itself in as both a cable provider and a content provider.

Case in point. 

When asked whether he considered Netflix a threat Roberts conceded they are doing very well but that so far their services are complementary to one half of Comcast’s goals, namely, broadband use.  Here’s Roberts:

Netflix needs one of the strongest broadband connections you can get…We’re seeing a surge in our broadband usage.  We sold more broadband last year than we did the year before and yet it’s a 10 year old product.  We sold more broadband last year, every quarter than Verizon, AT&T, and Qwest combined.

The flip side, of course, is the competition they are creating in the cable TV subscription business.  And on that end Roberts says the jury is still out, though so far it’s “not having much effect….the pie is just getting bigger” and that in fact Netflix “is a window, seeming to get defined as what syndicated television used to be to broadcast” which is not a threat to Comcast.  Yet. 

Video below (only 3 minutes!) of Roberts talking about Netflix at this morning’s breakfast. 


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