This also came through the NBCUniversal acquisition. Universal owns two theme parks, one in California and one in Florida, and Comcast is now investing heavily in expansion, including building the hotels needed to house guests.
The aim in this case is not to own the space, but to gain the same level of profitability Disney has by controlling licensed merchandise from its creation to its final consumption. The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Comcast's budget for the parks has increased fivefold since they were acquired.
For investors, all this should mean outstanding profitability. Comcast has generated more than $14 billion in annual operating cash flow for three years now, and that could be ready to accelerate. It has been steadily increasing revenue while maintaining margins in the range of 20%. Despite its huge investments, its debt-to-asset ratio remains less than 25%.
AT&T's debt-to-assets ratio is higher, and it lacks top line growth. Fox has less than half Comcast's revenue and lower margins. Disney's cash from operations is just two-thirds that of Comcast's.
Follow @danablankenhorn This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.