Comcast: Not concerned about HBO & CBS going OTT
Michelle Clancy
| 26 October 2014
Major media companies have been leaping into the over-the-top (OTT) market, most notably HBO and CBS, who both announced standalone digital services last week.

It’s an effort to woo Millennials, who are more likely to turn their back on traditional TV consumption. But Comcast said that it’s confident in its ability to stay relevant, despite shifting trends—and that standalone services don’t really threaten the status quo.

"We understand content company attempts to look for new ways to grow their businesses,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

He added, "I do think all companies are trying to figure out how to reach all customers… But I do think our existing business model is very strong."

"Many people" he said, still want cable subscriptions.

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke meanwhile said that the OTT moves by HBO and CBS merely add to their existing propositions—filling in coverage, as it were.

"They have to be very careful with cannibalisation," he said. "CBS is not, I don't think, trying to get their existing ecosystem to move over."

He did say that he expected ratings to be slow to grow over next five years to 10 years, and noted that business models are still in flux: "We are so early on in the transition to more Internet television that I think you are going to see a lot of surprising things."

He added, "It is surprising to me that we are making hundreds of millions of dollars from Hulu and Netflix and Amazon, businesses we didn't even think about five years ago. So, we all got to be prepared to be surprised once in a while, but also put everything in perspective and what are people's real motivations are and challenges." inShare0