NBCU Profits Increase During Second Quarter

NBCUniversal’s TV businesses rang up increases in profits and revenue in the second quarter, led by its broadcast operations.

The company also said that it has completed its upfront ad sales negotiations with dollar volume up 10% to nearly $7 billion in advertising commitments for the 2019-20 broadcast year. Prices for commercials in NBC primetime were up by double-digits on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis.

Ahead of the launch of its ad-supported streaming service next year, digital video ad sales were up 50%.

Overall, NBCU’s EBITDA was up 8.1% to $2.324 billion, boosted by a big profit gain in filmed entertainment, according to earnings information released by parent company Comcast.

Revenue was down 0.8% to $.206 billion.

Broadcast television EBITDA was up 28.3% to $534 million. Revenue was up 0.5% to $2.402.

Retransmission consent fee increases helped distribution revenue increase 14.7%.

Ad revenue was down 4.2% compared to last year, when Telemundo broadcast the World Cup. Excluding that, ad revenue was up in mid-single digits, with higher pricing offsetting audience declines.

Cable network EBITDA was up 2.2% to $1.201 billion.

Cable network revenue rose 2.5% to $2.947 billion. Distribution revenue increased 3.4%. Ad revenue was flat.

For Comcast, net income fell 2.8% to $3.125 billion, or 69 cents a share, from $3.216 billion, or 69 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA was up 17.5% to $8.716 billion.

Revenue rose 23.6% to $26.858 billion.

“I am very pleased with our terrific second-quarter results and the continued, successful execution of our strategy,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. 

“Our company’s consistent, profitable growth is fueled by our leading scale in direct customer relationships and premier content," Roberts said. "We now have nearly 55 million high-value direct customer relationships, including the 456,000 net additions in the second quarter, and a vast library of intellectual property and new productions that are extremely popular across generations and geographies. Our teams throughout the company continue to collaborate to make themselves and each other even stronger, and I’m excited about our growth opportunities ahead."

EBITDA for Comcast’s cable business rose 7.4% to $5.854 billion.

Cable revenue rose 3.9% to $14.45 billion.

Video revenue was down 0.6% to $5.594 billion. Comcast lost 224,000 video customers. High-speed internet revenue was up 9.4% to $4.663 billion. The company added 209,000 high-speed subscribers.

Advertising revenue was down 8.7% to $607 million. 

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.