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Golden Olympics Push NBCU Cash Flow Higher

A record-setting Olympics drove NBCUniversal’s cash flow sharply higher during the third quarter, Comcast announced Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Comcast’s cable operations reported adding 32,000 video customers, its biggest third-quarter increase in 10 years. The gain comes at a time when the industry is concerned that pay-TV subscribers are falling because of cord cutting.

NBCU’s cash flow rose 31.5% to $2.1 billion. The broadcast group’s cash flow more than doubled to $378 million, and NBCU’s cable networks were up 7% to $893 million. It was also a big quarter for NBCU’s theme parks, where cash flow climbed 662.4%.

Revenues were up 28.3% to $9.2 billion. Without the Olympics, revenues were up 5.7% to $7.6 billion. NBCU said the Olympics generated $1.6 billion in revenue, including $1.2 billion in ad revenue and that they increased cash flow by $228 million.

“The Rio Olympics were the most profitable and successful games in our history, and demonstrated our ability to deliver an unparalleled entertainment experience through NBCUniversal together with Comcast Cable and the X1 platform,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. “NBCUniversal reported operating cash flow growth of over 30%, benefitting from the Olympics, continued growth at our Theme Parks, and the theatrical success of The Secret Life of Pets this quarter. I’m proud of our consistent execution and excited about the opportunities ahead for Comcast NBCUniversal.”

Revenue for NBCU’s broadcast businesses were up 56.6% to $3.1 billion. Excluding the Olympics, revenues were down 3.6%. Cable network revenue was up 22% to $2.9 billion.

Overall, Comcast said that third quarter net income rose 12% to $2.32 billion, or 92 cents a share, from $2.04 billion, or 80 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues were up 14.2% to $21.3 billion

 “I’m pleased to report that our businesses generated double-digit revenue and operating cash flow growth for the third quarter of 2016. Cable delivered solid operating cash flow growth coupled with great customer metrics and has now added 170,000 video subscribers over the past twelve months,” said Roberts.