Comcast Corporation is an American telecommunications conglomerate headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the second-largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue and the largest pay-TV company, the largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States, the nation's third-largest home telephone service provider. Comcast services U. S. residential and commercial customers in 40 states and in the District of Columbia. As the owner of the international media company NBCUniversal since 2011, Comcast is a producer of feature films and television programs intended for theatrical exhibition and over-the-air and cable television broadcast, respectively. Comcast owns and operates the Xfinity residential cable communications subsidiary, Comcast Business, a commercial services provider, Xfinity Mobile, MVNO of Verizon, over-the-air national broadcast network channels, multiple cable-only channels, the film studio Universal Pictures, Universal Parks & Resorts.
It has significant holdings in digital distribution, such as thePlatform, which it acquired in 2006. In February 2014, the company agreed to merge with Time Warner Cable in an equity swap deal worth $45.2 billion, under the terms of the agreement, Comcast was to acquire 100% of Time Warner Cable. However, on April 24, 2015, Comcast terminated the agreement. Comcast and Charter Communications entered into an agreement to conduct exclusive discussions with Sprint Corporation in late June 2017. Since October 2018, it is the parent company of mass media pan-European company Sky, making it the biggest and leading media company with more than 53 million subscribers over five countries across Europe. Comcast has been criticized for multiple reasons. In addition, Comcast has violated net neutrality practices in the past. Critics point out a lack of competition in the vast majority of Comcast's service area. Furthermore, given Comcast's negotiating power as a large ISP, some suspect that Comcast could leverage paid peering agreements to unfairly influence end-user connection speeds.
Its ownership of both content production and content distribution has raised antitrust concerns. These issues, in addition to others, led to Comcast being dubbed "The Worst Company in America" by The Consumerist in 2010 and 2014. Comcast is sometimes described as a family business. Brian L. Roberts, president, CEO of Comcast, is the son of founder Ralph J. Roberts. Roberts owns or controls about 1% of all Comcast shares but all of the Class B supervoting shares, which gives him an "undilutable 33% voting power over the company". Legal expert Susan P. Crawford has said this gives him "effective control over every step". In 2010, he was one of the highest paid executives in the United States, with total compensation of about $31 million. Comcast is headquartered in Philadelphia and has corporate offices in Atlanta, Denver, New Hampshire and New York City. On January 3, 2005, Comcast announced that it would become the anchor tenant in the new Comcast Center in downtown Philadelphia; the 975 ft skyscraper is the tallest building in Pennsylvania.
Comcast has begun construction on a second 1,121 ft skyscraper directly adjacent to the original Comcast headquarters in the summer of 2014. The company is criticized by both the media and its own staff for its less upstanding policies regarding employee relations. A 2012 Reddit post written by an anonymous Comcast call center employee eager to share their negative experiences with the public received attention from publications including The Huffington Post. A 2014 investigative series published by The Verge involved interviews with 150 of Comcast's employees, it sought to examine why the company has become so criticized by its customers, the media and members of its own staff. The series claimed part of the problem is internal and that Comcast's staff endures unreasonable corporate policies. According to the report: "customer service has been replaced by an obsession with sales. A read article penned by an anonymous call center employee working for Comcast appeared in November 2014 on Cracked.
Titled "Five Nightmares You Live While Working For America's Worst Company," the article claimed that Comcast is obsessed with sales, doesn't train its employees properly and concluded that "the system makes good customer service impossible."Comcast has earned a reputation for being anti-union. According to one of the company's training manuals, "Comcast does not feel union representation is in the best interest of its employees, customers, or shareholders". A dispute in 2004 with CWA, a labor union that represented many employees at Comcast's offices in Beaverton, led to allegations of management intimidating workers, requiring them to attend anti-union meetings and unwarranted disciplinary action for union members. In 2011, Comcast received criticism from Writers Guild of America for its policies in regards to unions. Despite these criticisms, Comcast has appeared on multiple "top places to work" lists. In 2009, it was included on CableFAX magazine's "Top 10 Places to Work in Cable", which cited its "scale
NBCUniversal Media, LLC is an American worldwide mass media conglomerate owned by Comcast and headquartered at Rockefeller Plaza's Comcast Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is one of two successor companies to MCA Inc. the other being Vivendi through its subsidiary Universal Music Group. NBCUniversal is involved in the media and entertainment industry, it has a significant presence in broadcasting through a portfolio of domestic and international properties, including terrestrial and pay television outlets. Via its Universal Parks & Resorts division, NBCUniversal is the third-largest operator of amusement parks in the world. NBCUniversal was formed in 2004 with the merger of General Electric's NBC with Vivendi Universal's film and television subsidiary Vivendi Universal Entertainment, after GE had acquired 80% of the subsidiary, giving Vivendi a 20% share of the new company. In 2011, Comcast attained 51% and thereby the control of newly reformed NBCUniversal, by purchasing shares from GE, while GE bought out Vivendi.
Since 2013, the company is wholly owned by Comcast. NBC and Universal Television had a partnership dating back to 1950, when Universal Television's earliest ancestor, Revue Studios, produced a number of shows for NBC; this partnership continued throughout a number of name changes of ownership. NBC Universal Television has its modern roots in a series of expansions undertaken by NBC. In the late 1980s, NBC began pursuing a strategy of diversification, including the formation of two NBC-owned cable-television networks: CNBC and America's Talking. NBC had partial ownership of several regional sports channels and other cable channels such as American Movie Classics and Court TV. In 1995, NBC began operating NBC Desktop Video, a financial news service that delivered live video to personal computers; the following year, NBC announced an agreement with Microsoft to create an all-news cable television channel, MSNBC. A separate joint venture with Microsoft included establishing MSNBC.com. In 1998, NBC partnered with Dow Co..
The two companies combined their financial news channels outside the US. The new networks included NBC Europe, CNBC Europe, NBC Asia, CNBC Asia, NBC Africa, CNBC Africa. In 1999, NBC took a 32% stake in the Paxson group, operator of PAX TV. Five years NBC decided to sell its interest in PAX TV and end its relationship with PAX owner, Paxson Communications. In 2001, NBC acquired the US Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo, that includes the bilingual Mun2 Television for $1.98 billion. That same year NBC acquired the cable channel Bravo. In 2003, amid a major financial crisis caused by over-expansion, Universal Studios' parent company, Vivendi Universal Entertainment, decided to sell an 80% stake to NBC's parent company, General Electric; the sale and resulting merger formed NBC Universal. The new company was 80% owned by GE, 20% owned by Vivendi; the joint venture encompassed Vivendi's US film interests and distribution units, as well as five theme parks, cable television channels including USA Network, Sci-Fi Channel, the defunct Trio, Cloo, as well as 50% stakes in Canal+ and StudioCanal.
Universal Music Group is not part of NBC Universal. On August 2, 2004, the television divisions of NBC and Universal Television were combined to form NBC Universal Television. NBC Studios series bought into the company include the NBC dramas Las Vegas, Crossing Jordan, American Dreams. Universal Network Television bought the Law & Order franchise and The District—in fact, Universal Network Television had co-produced American Dreams with NBC before the merger. Entertainment shows produced by the new group include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Last Call with Carson Daly, Saturday Night Live; the formation of NBC Universal saw the establishment of NBC Universal Cable, which oversees the distribution and advertisement sales for thirteen channels. NBC Universal Cable manages the company's investments in The Weather Channel and TiVo; the cable division used to operate NBC Weather Plus until 2008. It owned a 50% stake in Canal+ and owned a 15% stake in A+E Networks until 2012.
In the early 1990s, NBC began its expansion throughout Europe by creating CNBC Europe and its long-time successful NBC Europe Superstation by broadcasting NBC Giga throughout Germany and the rest of the European Union. NBC Europe helped to develop the Leipzig-based Games Convention, the largest European video game exposition with more than 100,000 visitors each year. In 2005, NBC Universal joined HANA, the High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance to help establish standards in consumer electronics interoperability; that year, NBC announced a partnership with Apple Computer to offer shows from all the NBC Universal TV networks on Apple's iTunes Store. In January 2006, NBC Universal launched Sleuth; the channel's programming dedicated to mystery/crime genre. Sleuth Network's initial slogan was "Mystery. Crime
Cable television is a system of delivering television programming to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fiber-optic cables. This contrasts with broadcast television, in which the television signal is transmitted over the air by radio waves and received by a television antenna attached to the television. FM radio programming, high-speed Internet, telephone services, similar non-television services may be provided through these cables. Analog television was standard in the 20th century, but since the 2000s, cable systems have been upgraded to digital cable operation. A "cable channel" is a television network available via cable television; when available through satellite television, including direct broadcast satellite providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network and Sky, as well as via IPTV providers such as Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-verse is referred to as a "satellite channel". Alternative terms include "non-broadcast channel" or "programming service", the latter being used in legal contexts.
Examples of cable/satellite channels/cable networks available in many countries are HBO, Cinemax, MTV, Cartoon Network, AXN, E!, FX, Discovery Channel, Canal+, Fox Sports, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, CNN International, ESPN. The abbreviation CATV is used for cable television, it stood for Community Access Television or Community Antenna Television, from cable television's origins in 1948. In areas where over-the-air TV reception was limited by distance from transmitters or mountainous terrain, large "community antennas" were constructed, cable was run from them to individual homes; the origins of cable broadcasting for radio are older as radio programming was distributed by cable in some European cities as far back as 1924. To receive cable television at a given location, cable distribution lines must be available on the local utility poles or underground utility lines. Coaxial cable brings the signal to the customer's building through a service drop, an overhead or underground cable. If the subscriber's building does not have a cable service drop, the cable company will install one.
The standard cable used in the U. S. is RG-6, which has a 75 ohm impedance, connects with a type F connector. The cable company's portion of the wiring ends at a distribution box on the building exterior, built-in cable wiring in the walls distributes the signal to jacks in different rooms to which televisions are connected. Multiple cables to different rooms are split off the incoming cable with a small device called a splitter. There are two standards for cable television. All cable companies in the United States have switched to or are in the course of switching to digital cable television since it was first introduced in the late 1990s. Most cable companies require a set-top box or a slot on one's TV set for conditional access module cards to view their cable channels on newer televisions with digital cable QAM tuners, because most digital cable channels are now encrypted, or "scrambled", to reduce cable service theft. A cable from the jack in the wall is attached to the input of the box, an output cable from the box is attached to the television the RF-IN or composite input on older TVs.
Since the set-top box only decodes the single channel, being watched, each television in the house requires a separate box. Some unencrypted channels traditional over-the-air broadcast networks, can be displayed without a receiver box; the cable company will provide set top boxes based on the level of service a customer purchases, from basic set top boxes with a standard definition picture connected through the standard coaxial connection on the TV, to high-definition wireless DVR receivers connected via HDMI or component. Older analog television sets are "cable ready" and can receive the old analog cable without a set-top box. To receive digital cable channels on an analog television set unencrypted ones, requires a different type of box, a digital television adapter supplied by the cable company. A new distribution method that takes advantage of the low cost high quality DVB distribution to residential areas, uses TV gateways to convert the DVB-C, DVB-C2 stream to IP for distribution of TV over IP network in the home.
In the most common system, multiple television channels are distributed to subscriber residences through a coaxial cable, which comes from a trunkline supported on utility poles originating at the cable company's local distribution facility, called the "headend". Many channels can be transmitted through one coaxial cable by a technique called frequency division multiplexing. At the headend, each television channel is translated to a different frequency. By giving each channel a different frequency "slot" on the cable, the separate television signals do not interfere with each other. At an outdoor cable box on the subscriber's residence the company's service drop cable is connected to cables distributing the signal to different rooms in the building. At each television, the subscriber's television or a set-top box provided by the cable company translates the desired channel back to its original frequency, it is displayed onscreen. Due to widespread cable theft in earlier analog systems, the signals are encrypted on m
Bonnie Hammer is an American businesswoman and network executive. As Chairman of NBCUniversal Cable, Hammer oversees the leading cable brands USA, The Sci-Fi Channel, E!, Oxygen, Esquire Network, Sprout, TV One, Chiller and Universal HD, as well as production entities Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios. Born to a Jewish family in 1950, Hammer was raised in Queens, New York, the youngest of three children. Hammer's mother was a full-time mom. Intending to become a photojournalist, Hammer enrolled at Boston University College of Communication, earning a bachelor's degree in communications in 1971 and a master's degree in Media Technology from the Boston University School of Education in 1975. Hammer began her career in television at WGBH-TV, the public television station in Boston, where she produced This Old House, Infinity Factory and ZOOM for PBS, she executive-produced Good Day! for Boston's ABC affiliate, WCVB-TV. Hammer first established herself professionally in New York as an original programming executive at Lifetime Television Network, where she executive produced several award-winning documentaries for the network's acclaimed Signature Series.
In 1989 Hammer joined Universal Television as a programming executive. Here, Hammer partnered with Vince McMahon to transform the WWF franchise into a cultural phenomenon. Hammer spearheaded the launch of the successful “Sci Fi Prime,” the channel's first full night of original programming, as well as the “I am Sci-Fi” messaging effort which redefined how viewers related to the channel and its programming; when Hammer took on the role of Sci-Fi president, she brought to network a mini-series in partnership with Steven Spielberg called, Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken. The project, a twenty-hour miniseries about alien abductions, garnered the best ratings Sci-Fi had seen to date and earned the channel its first major Emmy. During the six years Hammer presided over Sci-Fi, the channel's audience doubled and Sci-Fi ranked in cable's top 10 among adults 25 to 54 and 18 to 49. In 2004 Universal Television merged with NBC and Hammer became president of USA in addition to Sci-Fi; as she had done at Sci-Fi, Hammer rebranded USA with “Characters Welcome,” – conveying the message that people, “wacky but memorable characters” were at the heart of the channel's programming.
USA has ranked #1 among cable networks for a record-setting eight years. After her success at Sci-Fi and USA, Hammer was named the most influential woman in cable by CableWorld magazine. In March 2008, Hammer took leadership at the new studio Universal Cable Productions. At the same time she became head of the digital networks Cloo and Universal HD. Adding to the list in 2011, she assumed responsibility for G4 and Wilshire Studios. In July 2012, under the leadership of Hammer, E! unveiled a major brand evolution of the network and relaunch of its market-leading E! Online website, both of which allowed E! to become the global destination for pop culture. In September 2013, she oversaw the launch of Esquire Network, a lifestyle and entertainment network that replaced Style Network. Hammer serves on the board of the Ad Council, as well as the Celebration of Women's Achievements in Television and Radio steering committee for the Paley Center for Media, she serves on the strategic planning committee for Boston University's College of Communication, is a mentor for Women in Film & Television.
Her current plans as NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman are to re-evaluate and adapt NBCUniversal channels to become less gender-based as there is a preconceived notion that many of the channels are only for women. Bravo, Hammer says, “is fortysomething affluent, female-plus—Franny hates it when anyone calls it a women’s network. There are lots of a lot of co-viewing as well. E! is smack in the middle. It’s thirtysomething, it’s kind of affluent, but they’re thirtysomethings that are on their way up. There are unmarrieds, not-yet-marrieds, employed or employable, a little younger and a little hipper, that’s their sweet spot.” She made a controversial decision to have "male" channel, take over the Style Network instead of "gamer network", G4, to further the individual style of NBCUniversal's networks and create content that overlaps style content while reaching male audiences While at USA Network, Hammer spearheaded the “Erase the Hate” pro-social campaign, which earned a National Emmy Governor's Award.
She extended it to create “Characters Unite,” a public service program to combat hate and discrimination and promoting tolerance and acceptance. Under Hammer's leadership, Characters Unite has grown into an award-winning, multi-platform initiative that includes on-air programming such as documentaries and themed episodes of USA series, public service announcements, digital content through the website and social media outlets, community outreach and high school education programs, featuring a partnership with storytelling group The Moth. Hammer created the “Visions for Tomorrow” campaign, an effort to spark America's leading thinkers and policymakers into searching for ways to solve society's most pressing issues. Hammer has received several awards for her work in the span of her career, she has been named to The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100, an annual list of the most influential women in Hollywood. She was given the National Association of Television Programming Executives’ 2007 Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award and inducted into Broa
Fandango is an American ticketing company that sells movie tickets via their website as well as through their mobile app. Industry revenue increased for several years after the company's formation. However, as the Internet grew in popularity and medium-sized movie-theater chains began to offer independent ticket sale capabilities through their own websites. In addition, a new paradigm of moviegoers printing their own tickets at home emerged, in services offered by PrintTixUSA and by point-of-sale software vendor operated websites like "ticketmakers.com". An overall slump in moviegoing continued into the 2000s, as home theaters, DVDs, high definition televisions proliferated in average households, turning their homes into a preferred place to screen films. On April 11, 2007, Comcast acquired Fandango, with plans to integrate it into a new entertainment website called "Fancast.com," set to launch the summer of 2007. In June 2008, the domain Movies.com was acquired from Disney. With Comcast's purchase of a majority stake in NBCUniversal in January 2011, Fandango and all other Comcast media assets were merged into the company.
In March 2012, Fandango announced a partnership with Yahoo! Movies, becoming the official online and mobile ticketer serving over 30 million registered users of the Yahoo! service. On January 29, 2016, Fandango announced its acquisition of M-GO, a joint venture between Technicolor SA and DreamWorks Animation which it would rebrand as "FandangoNOW". In February of that same year Fandango announced its acquisition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes from Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment; as part of the deal, Warner Bros. would become a 30% shareholder of the combined Fandango company. In December 2016, Fandango Media purchased Cinepapaya, a Peru-based website for purchasing movie tickets, for an undisclosed amount. Fandango charges a premium to use its services, ranging from 75¢ to $2.50, which reserves a ticket to be printed out upon arrival at a movie theater, thereby avoiding lines. Seating was promised for sold-out shows, but this feature was discontinued for most theaters, as not all were equipped to handle reserved seating and will call lines.
With ticket prices in many areas exceeding US$10.00, purchasing tickets through Fandango and other ticketing websites can make movie-going an expensive proposition. Fandango's advertisements play before previews at participating movie-theater chains and feature lunch bag puppets telling various one or two-line jokes and riddles centering on the company's name; the company produced an advertising segment, based on the song, "We are the World". Fandango's website offers exclusive film clips, celebrity interviews, reviews by users, movie descriptions, some web-based games to their members; as of March 5, 2015, Fandango provides customers with memberships the ability to refund or exchange their orders 2 hours before the showtime of their film. Fandango's Android app was listed among Techlands 50 Best Android Applications for 2013. Fandango is one of three major online advance movie ticket sale sites, along with MovieTickets.com and AtomTickets.com. Before being acquired by Comcast in April 2007, Fandango was owned, with the major stakeholder being the second largest movie-theater chain in the U.
S. Regal Entertainment Group, including the United Artists and Hoyts theater chains. Along with other partners, Regal founded Fandango to prevent the older MovieTickets.com from establishing a monopoly on phone and online ticketing services. It's advertising agency decided on its name because it sounded "fun and smart," "easily pronounce and remember--even though it has nothing to do with movies."Mergers of movie chains have complicated matters regarding which company provides online ticketing for a particular chain. Upon Regal's acquisition of Consolidated Theatres, that chain was under contract to MovieTickets.com. On the other hand, Regal's acquisition of the Hoyts chain resulted in Fandango taking over their online ticketing. Prior to 2012, Fandango did not provide online ticketing for many AMC Theatres. However, it provided online ticketing for those AMC Theatres part of the Loews Cineplex Entertainment chain, due to contractual obligations in place prior to the 2005 merger of the two movie chains.
Loews had attempted to break the contract in 2002 under pressure of bankruptcy and from AOL Moviefone and its partner, Loews' Cineplex subsidiary. As of February 8, 2012, Fandango began providing ticketing for all AMC Theatres in the US, after which MovieTickets.com's fellow shareholders sued AMC for breach of contract. AMC and MovieTickets.com settled in 2013, with an agreement that the theater chain's online ticketing would be available on both Fandango and MovieTickets.com. In May 2012, Fandango announced a partnership with former partner of MovieTickets.com. Atom Tickets, a movie ticketing app and website, launched in 2014, has been called a "serious competitor" for Fandango. In July 2009, it was revealed that Fandango along with other websites, including buy.com and Orbitz, were linked with controversial Web loyalty
Telemundo is an American Spanish language terrestrial television network owned by Comcast through NBCUniversal. It is the second largest provider of Spanish language content nationally behind American competitor Univision, with programming syndicated worldwide to more than 100 countries in over 35 languages; the channel broadcasts programs and original content aimed at Latin American audiences in the United States and worldwide, consisting of telenovelas, reality television, news programming and films — either imported or Spanish-dubbed. In addition, Telemundo operates NBC Universo, a separate channel directed towards young Hispanic audiences. Telemundo is headquartered in the Miami suburb of Beacon Lakes, has 1,900 employees worldwide; the majority of Telemundo's programs are filmed at an operated studio facility in Miami, where 85% of the network's telenovelas were filmed during 2011. The average hourly primetime drama costs $70K to produce. Launched as NetSpan in 1984, the network was renamed Telemundo in 1987, after the network owners purchased the previous owner of WKAQ-TV, a television station in San Juan, Puerto Rico, branded on air as Telemundo.
WKAQ-TV was signed on on March 28, 1954, was founded by Ángel Ramos – owner of Puerto Rico's main newspaper at the time, El Mundo, the U. S. territory's first radio station, WKAQ. Ramos wanted to maintain a consistent branding for his media properties based around the "mundo" theme, chose to brand his new television property as "Telemundo". On April 14, 1983, Ramos sold WKAQ-TV to John Co.. In 1984, the owners of WNJU in Linden, New Jersey and KSTS in San Jose, California formed NetSpan, the second Spanish-language television network in the continental United States; these stations joined KVEA in Los Angeles, run by its general manager and part-owner Joe Wallach, in 1985. The following year, KVEA's part-owner, Reliance Group Holdings, acquired the Telemundo brand when it purchased John Blair & Co. which owned WSCV in Fort Lauderdale–Miami-West Palm Beach in addition to WKAQ-TV. In late 1986, Reliance purchased WNJU. In 1987, Reliance Capital Group executives Saul Steinberg and Henry Silverman merged all these stations into the Telemundo Group.
The new corporation went public, in 1987, Reliance decided to rebrand NetSpan as Telemundo. That year, it purchased additional stations in San Francisco and San Antonio. Between 1988 and 1993, Telemundo acquired or affiliated with television stations in Texas, New Mexico and Washington, D. C.. In May 1992, Telemundo underwent another management change, appointing former Univision president Joaquin Blaya – who resigned from that network after discovering in an FCC filing for A. Jerrold Perenchio's purchase of the network from Hallmark Cards that Univision would increase its reliance on programming from Televisa and Venevision to levels that resulted in him concluding that there would be fewer opportunities for the addition of local programs on Univision's stations, was subsequently joined by four other Univision executives – to head the network; the following year in 1993, Telemundo underwent an extensive rebranding, introducing the signature framed "T" letter logo, a promotional campaign using the slogan "Arriba, Arriba".
The network began to produce its own original telenovelas, the first of which to premiere were Angélica, mi vida, Guadalupe, Señora Tentación and Tres Destinos. International distributors soon approached the network for the syndication rights to air these programs on television networks in other countries. Telemundo's effort faced an initial setback when Mexico's leading broadcaster, purchased production company Capitalvision, producing the telenovelas in conjunction with the network. Parent company Telemundo Group experienced major financial challenges during this time, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1994, due to a debt load of more than $300 million that the company owed to its creditors. In an effort to boost its tepid ratings and quell complaints from advocacy organizations such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition that criticized both networks for not featuring content relatable to American Latinos, Telemundo outlined a new strategy to better compete against Univision by increasing production of domestically produced programs.
In 1995, under the direction of executive vice president of programming Harry Abraham Castillo, Telemundo opened its first network studio on the West Coast. Housed at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, the network began daily production of three shows on the lot that year: La Hora Lunática, a daytime talk-variety show hosted by Los Angeles radio personality Humberto Luna, comedians Mario Ramírez Reyes "El Comodín" and Hugo Armando, producer Jackie Torres.