Comcast Corporation has grown from a small cable operator in the 1960s into one of the world's largest telecommunications conglomerates today.

Through key mergers, acquisitions, and investments over the past six decades, Comcast expanded to provide media, entertainment, communications, and technology services to millions of customers.

The following timeline of Comcast details the major milestones that shaped this media giant's remarkable transformation.

EARLY HISTORY (1963-1990)

Comcast in the early years
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1963 — American Cable Systems

Ralph Roberts founds American Cable Systems by purchasing American Cable Systems from Jerrold Electronics for $500,000 along with his business partners Daniel Aaron and Julian Brodsky.

The company started as a small cable operator in Tupelo, Mississippi with 5 channels and 12,000 customers.

1965 — Storecast Corporation of America

American Cable purchases Storecast Corporation of America, a product placement and marketing firm specializing in supermarkets.

This allows American Cable to place products and advertise in grocery stores.

1968 — Muzak

American Cable purchases first franchise of Muzak, the background music company.

Storecast was already a Muzak client, so this solidified the music partnership.

1969 — Comcast Corporation Incorporation

Changes name to Comcast Corporation when company incorporates in Pennsylvania.

1972 — IPO

Comcast goes public with an initial public offering, raising $3 million in funding and valuing the company at $3.01 million.

This brings external investment to help fund expansion.

1977 — HBO

Launches HBO premium cable network on its western Pennsylvania system for the first time, making it one of the first distributors of HBO.

Signed up 15% of 20,000 customers for HBO in a 5-day free preview.

1986 — Group W Cable

Buys 26% stake in Group W Cable, a broadcast and cable television company, for $380 million.

This more than doubles Comcast's customers to over 1 million subscribers nationally.

1988 — QVC

Invests $380 million for a founding stake in upstart home shopping network QVC.

Also buys 50% share of cable television operator SCI Holdings.

1990 — Brian Roberts

Ralph's son Brian Roberts succeeds his father as President of Comcast Corporation.

Brian continues as CEO and Chairman of the Board for decades.

GROWTH & EXPANSION (1991-2009)

Comcast cables
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1992 — Metrophone

Acquires Metrophone, Pennsylvania's largest cellular provider, for $1.27 billion. This is Comcast's first major expansion into the mobile phone market.

1994 — 3rd Largest Cable Operator

Becomes 3rd largest cable operator in the US with purchase of Maclean-Hunter's American cable division for $1.27 billion.

This adds 1 million cable subscribers.

1995 — Scripps Howard

Acquires cable systems from Scripps Howard for $1.575 billion in stock.

Scripps had over 1 million subscribers at this time.

1997 — Microsoft

Microsoft invests $1 billion in Comcast, showing confidence in broadband future.

Comcast also launched its first digital TV packages this year.

1999 — Lenfest Communications

Acquires Lenfest Communications, 9th largest cable operator, for $7.5 billion.

Also acquires Greater Philadelphia Cablevision, solidifying Comcast's dominant status in Philly region.

2001 — AT&T Merger

Merges with AT&T Broadband for $72 billion, making Comcast the nation's largest cable operator with 22 million subscribers.

2002 — Tech Investments

Launches Comcast Interactive Capital Group to make tech investments.

Also launches Comcast Advertising Sales.

2003 — The Golf Channel

Becomes an original investor in The Golf Channel, with ownership stake close to 32%.

2005 — Adelphia

Acquires the assets of bankrupt cable operator Adelphia for $17.6 billion (with TimeWarner).

Also buys Susquehanna Communications for $775 million.


NBC Comcast journalist
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2011 — NBCUniversial

Acquires 51% controlling stake in NBCUniversal media company from General Electric for $6.5 billion.

This gives Comcast ownership of Universal Studios, NBC, Telemundo, MSNBC, and more.

2013 — Media Giant

Acquires remaining 49% stake in NBCUniversal from GE for $16.7 billion.

This completes the full ownership of the major media company.

2014 — Time Warner Cable

Attempted purchase of Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion is blocked by regulators over antitrust concerns, deals a blow to Comcast's expansion plans.

2016 — DreamWorks

Acquires DreamWorks Animation, the movie studio behind Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, for $3.8 billion.

Boosts Comcast's entertainment assets.

2018 — Sky

Successfully acquires European broadcaster Sky after bidding war with Disney.

Deal is worth $40 billion and greatly expands Comcast's international presence.

2020 — Xumo

Launches Xumo, an ad-supported free streaming video service, to compete with Pluto TV and Tubi.

2022 — Charter

Forms a 50/50 streaming joint venture with Charter Communications, combining technology from Comcast's Flex and Xumo services.

Positions Comcast in the streaming device market against Roku and Amazon.