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NBCU Generates Higher Cash Flow in First Quarter

NBCUniversal reported higher operating cash flow in the first quarter.

Cash flow was up 14% at NBCU to $1.5 billion, according to parent company Comcast, which announced earnings Monday morning. The gain included the Super Bowl, but reflected a comparison to last year’s Olympics from Sochi, Russia.

Revenues were down 4%, but excluding the Olympics and Super Bowl, they were up 7.9%. Revenue for the Super Bowl was $376 million. A year ago, the Olympics generated $1.1 billion in revenue.

“At NBCUniversal, we had another excellent quarter, led by Super Bowl XLIX, which was the most-watched television program of all time, along with the tremendous box office success of Fifty Shades of Grey, and the exceptional performance of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley in Orlando,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.

NBC’s broadcast cash flow was up 49% to $182 million. Revenue was down 14% to $2.2 million. Excluding the Super Bowl and Olympics, revenues and ad revenues were up 5.5%.

At its cable networks, cash flow was up 0.3% to $898 million. Revenues were down 6% to $2.4 billion. Excluding the Super Bowl and Olympics, revenues were up 5%. Advertising revenues were up 4.3% and distribution revenues were up 4.8%.

For all of Comcast, operating income rose 9% to $3.9 million and earnings per share were up 14.1% to 81 cents from 71 cents a year ago. Revenue rose 2.6% to $17.9 million.

The company said it lost 8,000 video-only customers, but increased its total customer relationships by 199,000.

During the period, Comcast was attempting to buy Time Warner Cable, Comcast dropped that bid two weeks ago when it appeared the deal would not gain government approval.

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.