Comcast founder Ralph Roberts ‘will be dearly missed,’ says NHL commissioner

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The National Hockey League has sent its condolences to the family of Ralph Roberts, the founder of Comcast who passed away Thursday in Philadelphia at the age of 95.

“Ralph Roberts was an innovator, a visionary who revolutionized the cable industry and the patriarch of an outstanding family,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement.

“Founder of Comcast and chairman emeritus, Ralph was a devoted partner and friend of the National Hockey League. We send deepest condolences to Ralph’s family and his countless friends. He will be dearly missed.”

Comcast acquired the majority stake in NBC Universal, which includes the NBC Sports Group, in 2009. Two years later, the NHL and NBC Sports Group struck a record 10-year television and media rights deal.

Roberts founded Comcast in 1963, and transformed it from “humble roots as a small, regional cable company into the global Fortune 50 media and technology leader it is today,” Comcast said in a statement on its website.

“Ralph was a born entrepreneur, a visionary businessman, a philanthropist and a wonderful human being.  Ralph built Comcast into one of America’s greatest companies and his vision and spirit have been at the heart of Comcast and our culture for 50 years.  He will be truly missed.  Ralph’s greatest love was his family, and our deepest sympathies go to his wife Suzanne and the entire Roberts family.”