NBCU Earnings Rise on Strength of Broadcast TV Unit


PHILADELPHIA: NBCUniversal saw double-digit operating cash flow growth in its third quarter, led by ratings momentum from its broadcast network, contributing to a solid overall performance for Comcast Corporation.

Revenue at NBCU was up 1.2 percent to $5.9 billion in Q3 compared to the prior year's quarter, as revenue growth in broadcast television and theme parks was partially offset by lower theatrical revenue. Operating cash flow increased 13.3 percent to $1.4 billion, led by the strong results from broadcast and theme parks.

In Q3, revenue from the cable networks segment was up slightly, 0.7 percent, to $2.3 billion, with a 5.1 percent increase in distribution revenue partially offset by a 4.6 percent decline in ad revenue.

The broadcast TV segment saw an increase of 7.7 percent to $1.8 billion in revenue, with an increase in advertising revenue thanks to strong ratings at the NBC broadcast network, along with higher retransmission consent fees and an increase in content licensing revenue.

Theme parks posted an 18.7 percent revenue increase to $786 million, driven by the successful opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley. Filmed entertainment took a hit, down 15.2 percent to $1.2 billion, facing a tough comparison from the prior year, which saw the release of Despicable Me 2.

Overall at Comcast, consolidated revenue was up 4 percent to $16.8 billion, while consolidated operating income was up 9.7 percent to $3.7 billion. Consolidated cash flow gained 7 percent to $5.7 billion.

Brian L. Roberts, the chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said, “I am pleased to report strong revenue, operating cash flow and free cash flow growth for the third quarter of 2014. Cable results highlight the consistent strength of high-speed Internet and business services, and video customer results were the best for a third quarter in seven years. We continue to focus on innovation and providing the best experience for our customers, and we are thrilled with the response to our superior X1 platform, which recently reached five million boxes deployed. At NBCUniversal, we had another outstanding quarter with double-digit operating cash flow growth, driven by ratings momentum at NBC Broadcast and the successful opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley in Orlando.”