Comcast posts 22.5 percent profit gain as NBC Universal deal looms

Comcast (CMCSA), the nation's largest cable TV company, reported a 22.5 percent rise in third-quarter earnings, beating expectations, but didn't offer any details about its possible purchase of a majority stake in media giant NBC Universal. Negotiations to create a content and distribution juggernaut are proceeding apace, according to multiple reports, with a deal to be announced as early as this week.

Comcast's strong numbers illustrate the stickiness of cable TV service -- despite a drop in subscriber growth -- at a time when consumers are cutting back on spending during the worst recession since the Great Depression.