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Roberts: Comcast Will Get Value for Nets

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said at an industry conference Friday that he expects his cable and broadcast networks to be fairly compensated, but hinted that as the country’s largest cable distribution company Comcast may be able to play a unique role in tempering the debate over high programming costs.

As a result of its 51% stake in the NBC Universal joint venture with General Electric, Comcast controls a top broadcast network (NBC) and a stable of cable networks including USA Network, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC and others. Roberts has said in the past that he hoped that Comcast could play a constructive role in the programming cost debate, a position that he maintained Friday.

“There will be a market for retrans,” Roberts said at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York. “I think we will make the case for the Super Bowl and Sunday Night Football and the most watched shows on television, the Olympics, all on NBC, that we are entitled to the same as other broadcasters.”

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