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Comcast Chief Brian Roberts Pushes Back Against Stock Drop

Brian Roberts thinks Comcast’s stock was treated unfairly by investors recently. So he set out on Thursday to make the case for the cable-and-entertainment giant.

“Last week we made some comments at a conference about the competitive environment,” said Roberts, referring to the disclosure made last week that the nation’s largest cable company could lose up to 150,000 TV subscribers this quarter owing to flooding in Houston. “Our company is in great shape.”

During remarks delivered at an investor conference hosted by Goldman Sachs, Roberts laid out a list of reasons as to why he felt Comcast’s prospects were rosy.

He cited longer-term trends at the company’s cable business, noting that “our customer relationships are up, our cash flow’s up, our revenue’s up. We don’t really see a change to any of that.”

And he spent much of this time praising the potential of NBCUniversal, noting the company was intent on devising big events – many of them having to do with sports – that would bring in additional advertising revenue and ensure attention from distributors of programming. He said NBC fared better than its competitors in terms of securing pricing in the recent TV upfront market, when the networks try to sell the bulk of their ad time for the coming season. And he suggested executives felt the so-called “scatter” market, when advertisers purchase inventory much closer to air, often in exchange for a premium, showed “continued strength.”

Roberts seemed unfazed by the prospect of new digital distribution methods that threaten to undermine TV networks and cable distributors. And he suggested NBCU content would be available across various platforms,  “If a sub goes there, we’re going to get paid,” he said.

Roberts said the company’s Orlando theme parks were poised to reopen Wednesday after shuttering due to Hurricane Irma.

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