Think differentiation.

That was the mantra from Comcast ( CMCSA) Wednesday, following the announcement that it was withdrawing its two-month-old hostile bid for Disney ( DIS).

Now that Comcast is no longer pegging its future on the marriage of content and distribution, the nation's largest cable system operator sought to reassure investors that its cable business is doing just fine.

To make clear that its business isn't being eaten away by satellite TV operators and local telcos, executives spent much of their phone call with investors Wednesday talking about their strategy of differentiation: Offering products and services that can't be matched by their competitors.

Competitive differentiation "is really what we're all about right now," Comcast Cable President Steve Burke said on the call. "We see a big part of our job is making sure that we not only have what our competition has, but we have things that they don't have, or things that are better than what they have."

Now that Comcast isn't going to be spending billions on Disney, competition is once again front and center as the big worry among the people who own Comcast stock. The threats to the company's lush cash flows appear everywhere -- from airborne rivals like EchoStar ( DISH) and DirecTV ( DTV) as well as broadband Internet providers like SBC ( SBC) and Verizon ( VZ).

On Wednesday, as investors awaited the postclose first-quarter earnings report from cable rival Time Warner ( TWX), Comcast shares rose 37 cents to $30.34.

Calling Out

The most explicit discussion of the differentiation strategy on the call -- as well as the brightest spotlight on possible risks -- came when Burke talked about the company's development of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol telephony. That's a service that Burke says Comcast believes "will be a major source of growth for our company in the next few years."

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