Comcast sees first video customer growth in six years in fourth quarter: CEO

Tue Jan 7, 2014 2:08pm EST

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts speaks at his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts speaks at his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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(Reuters) - Comcast Corp slightly expanded its video customer base during the last three months of 2013, the first quarterly growth in more than six years, Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said on Tuesday.

"In the fourth quarter, we modestly grew customers," Roberts told investors at Citigroup's 2014 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas. The CEO said the company had seen a decline in video subscribers for 26 straight quarters.

Comcast's cable unit reported 21.6 million video customers at the end of September, the largest number of any U.S. cable company. The company said it lost about 129,000 customers in the third quarter of 2013. Roberts did not provide a specific number for video customers at the end of the fourth quarter.

He said the company had invested in customer service and new digital technology, including a voice-activated user guide and access to cable channels on mobile devices, to attract new subscribers.

Comcast shares rose 2.6 percent to $52.36 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Andrew Hay and Ronald Grover)

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