When someone mentioned Les Moonves’ suggestion that CBS should command retrans fees in line with USA Network, Brian Roberts played it cool. "What do you want me to do-slam them really hard or just be really nice?" "It’s going to be a judgment by the American public, whether the days of free television are over. … We’ll just have to see what the future brings," he said at a Goldman Sachs conference. He added that Comcast has "very long" agreements in place with programmers (of course, it probably also helps to be the 800- lb gorilla on the block…). In a Q&A session, Roberts talked up Comcast’s "Enhanced Basic" service, which delivers an all-digital signal and some VOD and digital music content to subs who don’t want the full digital package. The MSO has 500K low-cost (less than $70) digital boxes in-house to roll out to Enhanced Basic customers, whose numbers should rise as 50% of the MSO’S footprint is already digital simulcasting. Roberts doesn’t see a lot of opportunity for Comcast on the acquisition front, so the company is focusing on internal growth, stock buybacks and innovation, he said. — CableWORLD’s Mavis Scanlon

The Daily


Locast Heads to Tar Heel State

Locast is casting a wider net, with the free streaming app of OTA channels launching in Charlotte, NC. The launch comes in time for Sunday’s NFL

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