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Comcast’s Brian Roberts Hits London on European Sky Tour

Comcast chief Brian Roberts welcomed Sky’s U.K. staff members into the fold Tuesday at Sky’s vast West London campus in the Osterley neighborhood. Roberts’ message at a company town hall session was that Sky could “go faster” with the backing of its new U.S. corporate parent.

Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh and NBCUniversal boss CEO Steve Burke were also part of an all-star executive lineup at the meeting – and, by way of onscreen talent, Jimmy Fallon made a surprise entrance via a video link and welcomed Sky staff to the family.

For Roberts and Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, it was the next leg of a European tour that saw them touch down in Italy and Germany on Monday for similar events at Sky’s two other major European hubs.

The London gathering was attended by hundreds of staff members and streamed for all Sky staff in the U.K. and Ireland. Sky News presenter Anna Jones hosted proceedings.

Darroch, who has committed his future to Sky since Comcast won the pay-TV giant with a $40 billion auction bid, was up first and gave his impressions of the company’s new owner.

Speaking next, Roberts told staffers that the London campus was the most impressive he had seen. He walked Sky through the history of Comcast and his own journey to the top of the business. He reassured staff that Comcast had the finances in place for the Sky deal and was not looking to make major cuts.

Comcast’s earlier acquisition of NBCUniversal was broached, as was the prospects for Comcast-NBCU-Sky cooperation. But the main takeaway was that the independence and culture of Sky would be maintained, which was well-received on the ground. Roberts said he “wanted people to go faster” with Comcast backing the company.

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