NBCU Earnings Higher Despite $456 Million Loss on Peacock

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

NBCUniversal reported higher profits in the first quarter despite continued losses from Peacock as the Super Bowl and Olympics generated big revenue numbers.

Parent company Comcast said NBCUniversal’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 7.4% to $1.6 billion, including losses from Peacock.

The Peacock losses were $456 million in revenue of $472 million, compared to a $277 million loss a year ago in revenue of $91 million.

Also: Brian Roberts Says Peacock Had ‘Exceptional’ Quarter

Revenues rose 46.6% to $19.296 million with theme parks making a comeback and NBC airing the Olympics and Super Bowl in the quarter. 

Media EBITDA was $1.159 billion, down 21.3%.

The Olympics generated $963 million in revenue and the Super Bowl brought in $519 million. 

Excluding the Olympics and the Super Bowl, media revenue was up 5.9% to $5.383 million, compared to a 36.3% jump to $6.865 including those events.

Distribution revenue was up 21.6%, partly because of the Olympics.

Comcast Cable said its residential video customers fell to 17.011 million from 18.590 a year ago. Residential broadband customers increased to 29.836 million from $28.774 million.

Net income rose 6.6% to $3.549 billion, or 78 cents a share, from $3.329 billion, or 71 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 14% to $31 million.

“2022 is off to a great start. For the first quarter we reported healthy growth in adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EPS, generated significant free cash flow, and increased our return of capital to shareholders. We also continued to make important organic investments and strategic decisions, highlighted by yesterday’s announcement of our new joint venture with Charter,” said CEO Brian Roberts.

“Our media business is performing well, and the scale of our reach is underscored by our successful broadcast of the Super Bowl and the Olympics in the same week. These events were viewed by more than 200 million people in the U.S. across NBCUniversal’s platforms, including Peacock, which had an exceptional quarter,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the Charter venture “demonstrates the benefits of our focus on innovation and enables us to bring entertainment aggregation and streaming products that run off our global technology platform to millions more customers.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.