says this year, for sure, is the year of the bundle.
Having spent a good part of last year getting its network ready for advanced digital services including phone, CEO Brian Roberts told investors he expects to push a packaged offer of video, Net access and calling services harder than ever.
After getting off to a slow start in Net calling last year, Roberts, speaking to investors at a Citigroup conference in Phoenix Monday, said he expected to bump the number of phone customers to 2 million by year-end from the 1.3 million Comcast ended with last year.
Comcast shares have stumbled recently as customer numbers began to shrink, a bid for
failed and a telco-killing voice-over-Internet-protocol service failed to materialize.
Roberts says those woes are over and new offerings like video-on-demand, digital video recording and lower-priced phone service will drive sales growth this year.
Comcast says it has had success offering its triple play bundles to customers in Boston for $90 a month.
Asked if he saw a possible rebid for Disney, Roberts said no. And as for other growth opportunities like offering services to small businesses, Roberts said: "For 2006, I think we will stay focused on consumers."
He also said in an effort to prod basic cable customers to take digital services, Comcast would provide digital boxes preloaded with 100 movies for free or possibly $1 a month. Roberts says about 60% of Comcast's TV customers are still on analog service. Cable companies are eager to move customers to digital in order to sell them a host of new services.
Comcast shares closed up 17 cents at $27.45 Monday.