My Foolish colleague Tim Beyers and I represent two of the ways investors can analyze the expanding world of Comcast
In Tim's case, he's looking at the company's ability to service his leading-edge technical needs with, for instance, its "Extreme 105" Internet service. While technical capabilities aren't insignificant to me, I've long kept at least one eye on the leanings of CEO Brian Roberts and COO Steve Burke regarding content additions at the company. Indeed, I'm not pulling your leg when I say that, while still a media analyst, I commented months in advance that the (ultimately unsuccessful) early 2004 offer by the company to buy Disney
With my interest in the matchup of the company's distribution and content capabilities, I was intrigued by last week's activity in the world of sports programming, including Friday's Wall Street Journal article on Burke's efforts to boost the sports offerings from the NBCU unit, in which Comcast recently bought controlling interest from GE
Burke, now CEO of NBCU, obviously is focusing on competing with Disney's ESPN sports stable, while also circling the rights to both Pac-12 conference athletic events and increased Olympic coverage. The Journal was mum on the news that, earlier in the week, Fox Sports -- its sibling at News Corp.
Nor did the article mention that, while he's been at Comcast for a while now, Burke cut his corporate teeth at Disney following graduate school. That history likely has added to his desire to compete with ESPN.
As to the Olympics, NBCU has a solid history of broadcasting the past several games. But with rights now running in the billions of dollars per game -- and profits not at all a sure thing -- Burke and his minions have sharpened their pencils as they determine their willingness to pay up for future opportunities.
At the same time, analysts are keeping their pencils sharp as we head for the first week in May, when Comcast will follow Time Warner Cable
I, for one, have long been high on Comcast's ultimate growth prospects. But no matter how you look at the company, The Motley Fool's My Watchlist will add meaningfully to your information flow. Join me in adding Comcast to My Watchlist.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies named in the article above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.