Has Comcast bet against technology?

Roberts and Murdoch, big spenders

IN FORGING HIS media empire Rupert Murdoch never worried much about whether he was spending too much money. He thought it mattered more what businesses he was building. Such as, in 1989, a cash-haemorrhaging satellite broadcaster in Britain called Sky Television. Decades later Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, an American pay-TV giant, proved Mr Murdoch right again. In October he completed a deal to buy Sky, a successor to Sky Television, for £30.6bn ($40bn).

Mr Roberts is also testing the wisdom of profligate spending with his deal. In buying Sky he is taking Comcast into Britain, Italy and Germany, adding 24m customers and $20bn a year in revenue (including Sky, Comcast has a total of 54m customers and $110bn in annual revenues). Critics say he massively overpaid for an antiquated technology at a time when internet video is the future. Four months on Mr...



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