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Comcast CEO/VOD evangelist Brian Roberts predicts his company will deliver a billion TV shows through VOD next year; Comcast currently averages 50 million shows a month. Speaking in New York yesterday at the TV On-Demand Summit, sponsored by Independent Research Group, Roberts descibed his numbers as “an aggressive prediction” that will be fueled in part by additional VOD programming like music videos from Music Choice and content from the Sony-MGM deal Comcast helped fund.
Earlier this month, he told students at Pennsylvania’s Wharton school — his undergrad alma mater — that VOD is the key to Comcast’s future and a challenge to the entertainment industry status quo. “We go to movie companies and say, ‘We’ve got this great on-demand in five million homes, and it will be ten million by the end of this year.’ And you know what they say? ‘The problem is DVD sales are so good right now that we can’t tick off Wal-Mart.‘” … That kind of attitude, not concerns about the future of cable, drove Comcast’s ill-fated bid for Disney; the cable giant wanted a content conduit and there aren’t many entertainment companies that produce more programming than Disney.