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Comcast Looking to Correct HD Message

Referring to Comcast’s promotion of its HD offerings, chief financial officer Michael Angelakis said the company will correct its message in 2008.

Speaking at Citigroup’s Global Media and Telecommunications conference in Phoenix Wednesday morning, Angelakis said the company spreads its marketing focus across several business lines to promote its triple-play offering, but it will focus on trumpeting its HD suite in the new year.

“We’ve got to correct that message,” he said, noting that competitive advantage from rival satellite-TV providers was more “perception than reality.”

The message Comcast will be trying to get across is the volume of HD choices it will offer through its on-demand library.

CEO Brian Roberts announced at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show this week that the company plans to have available more than 1,000 HD movies on-demand before the end of the year with that number rising to 3,000 in 2009. The company will also continue to add the most popular linear HD channels.

In the effort to raise awareness among consumers about what the country’s largest cable company offers in HD, Comcast plans to step up its advertising and also its presence at retailers where consumers are buying their HDTVs, Angelakis said.

On the subject of wireless, Angelakis added that the company is still figuring out what its wireless product would be and how it would fit into its product line and business plan. But while the company will not have “its head in the sand,” Angelakis said, the focus remains on executing on the current business lines.

“Over the next few years, will wireless be important? It could be,” he said, adding, “We don’t feel any immediate pressure of needing wireless.”

By contrast, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Tuesday that the wireless option is a key component to bundling products. Stephenson noted that as the economy slows, consumers surrender traditional access lines and broadband before wireless.