Ted Harbert signs 5-year deal with Comcast

May have larger role after NBCU acquisition complete

Ted Harbert has inked a new five-year deal with Comcast, keeping him at the helm of the company's West Coast entertainment properties through 2016.

The news is certain to further fuel speculation about a potential larger role that Harbert, a former ABC and NBC executive, could play after Comcast its acquisition of NBC Universal.

Harbert indicated there might be something else in the offing for him at the company.

"I look forward to continuing what we've started while seeking out new and exciting opportunities," he said in the news release announcing his contract extension.

Harbert serves as president and CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group, which encompasses E! Entertainment Television, the Style Network, G4, Comcast International Media Group and Comcast Entertainment Prods.

Comcast programming group president Jeff Shell praised Harbert for "guiding each of our entertainment brands to record-breaking growth in ratings and revenue over the past five years."

Under Harbert, E!, Style and G4 delivered their most-watched year ever in 2009 for the fifth consecutive year. He also brought Ryan Seacrest to E! and oversaw the launch of such series as "Chelsea Lately," "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," "Kendra," "The Girls Next Door" and "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane."

Harbert joined E! Networks in summer 2004 as president of E! Entertainment Television and was named president and CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group in 2006.