Brian Roberts says he learned a lot about Sky’s features during chat with driver
If Comcast is successful in stealing Sky from under Rupert Murdoch’s nose, it seems a London cab driver can take some of the credit.
The Comcast chief executive, Brian Roberts, said a chat in a taxi in November helped him realise why Sky is worth the £22bn offer he has tabled.
Roberts told reporters he and a colleague hailed a taxi to go to a Sky shop. “The cab driver was incredibly knowledgeable about the difference between Virgin [Media] and Sky in every feature,” he said. “We were learning a lot there.
“Then when we got to the Sky store, we spent at least an hour going through every feature and comparing it to our own ... We were really terribly impressed.”
Roberts said that while the chat was not the deciding factor in making the bid, it was “another reminder for me how impressive Sky is”.
The 58-year-old inherited the top spot at Comcast via his father, who founded it as a cable business in the 1960s, but he had to prove himself before reaching the boardroom in 2002.
His first job involved selling TV subscriptions door to door and putting up power cables. These days he is worth almost $2bn (£1.4bn), taking home about $30m annually.
Still, the Philadelphian makes time for sport (Comcast owns the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team), winning a gold and four silvers for the US in squash at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.