Comcast chief vows to defy economy


Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said Wednesday that a sluggish U.S. economy has dragged down subscriber growth at most major cable and satellite TV providers since mid-2007, but he vowed that new and diversified products will allow the cable giant to continue doing well under the circumstances.

"The market has shrunk, and that continues to go through in 2008," he said at Comcast's annual shareholder meeting in Philadelphia, lauding his firm's "solid" 2007 performance despite the economic and competitive challenges.

So far in 2008, the total return on Comcast's stock is more than 20%, outperforming its peers and the S&P 500, Roberts said.

Attendees voted against all shareholder proposals, which included one aiming to change Comcast's super-voting structure, which gives Roberts a third of the voting power even though he owns less than 3% of an economic stake in the firm. (partialdiff)