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Corporate Innovation – Comcast Corporation Essay

3075 words - 12 pages

Comcast Corporation is a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CMCSA), founded and controlled by the Roberts family of Philadelphia. The company was founded by Ralph Roberts, now the chairman emeritus, Julian Brodsky, formerly the chief financial officer, and Daniel Aaron, deceased, formerly the vice chairman and chief operating officer, by acquiring in 1963 what was then known as a community antenna television (CATV) system in Tupelo, Mississippi (Kirkpatrick, 2003). Today Comcast is the largest cable television and broadcasting company in the world following the 2002 acquisition of AT&T Broadband (formerly Tele-Communications, Inc.), and the 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal television network (Comcast Corporation, 2013a). Comcast’s prior growth into one of the top five cable companies was fueled by acquisitions, including Group W’s TelePrompTer and Storer Communications (Aaron & Long, 2001). The company is now run by co-founder Ralph Roberts’s son, Brian Roberts, who is chairman, president, and chief executive officer. Today’s business includes cable television systems, cable networks, broadcast television, filmed entertainment, and theme parks (Comcast Corporation, 2013a). Comcast was one of the founders in 1988 of CableLabs in Boulder, Colorado, formally known as Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs), a non-profit research and development consortium funded by the cable television industry that develops new cable telecommunications technologies (CableLabs, 2013). Comcast also co-founded in 1960 the National Cable Television Association (now the National Cable & Telecommunications Association), the principal Washington, D.C., trade association for the cable television industry (2013). This paper will examine the innovation strategies, culture, ethics, metrics, and innovation incentive and learning systems utilized by Comcast and its management to promote innovation in its cable television and broadcast businesses, and recommend further refinements in those strategies.
Corporate History and Organization
Comcast Corporation, the largest U.S. cable and broadcast television company (Comcast Corporation, 2013a), is an innovation leader in the telecommunications industry. From its beginnings as a single community antenna television system (the original name for cable systems) in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1963 (Kirkpatrick, 2003), through its acquisition of NBCUniversal television over the last two years (Peers, Jannarone, & Linebaugh, 2013), Comcast has been among the industry leaders in telecommunications innovation. Comcast has regularly exerted strong leadership on innovation strategy and portfolio decisions, as a co-founder of CableLabs, the cable television industry’s non-profit consortium for cable technology standards and development (Cable Television Laboratories, Inc., 1998), as one of the early owners and developers of QVC, a leader in the cable shopping channel genre (Comcast Corporation, 2007), as...

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