NBCU Profits Up Despite $363 Million Loss for Peacock

NBCUniversal Peacock
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

NBCUniversal reported a gain in profits and revenues in the second-quarter, compared to a year ago when the worst effects of the pandemic were being felt, despite a drag from new streaming service Peacock.

Losses for Peacock grew to $363 million from $117 million a year ago, the company said. Peacock had $122 million in revenue, up from  $6 million a year ago.

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Brian Roberts, CEO of NBCU parent Comcast, said that Peacock now has 54 million signups, and that it has 20 million month active users, up 50%.  During its first-quarter earnings report, Comcast said Peacock had 42 million signups.

Speaking on the company's earnings call, Roberts said adding the new Boss Baby film and the Tokyo Olympics was boosting usage of Peacock.

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Roberts also said that Peacock will be expanding internationally, being added free to Sky's 20 million customers.

The pivot to streaming is important to the company as Comcast lost 399,000 video subscribers.

NBCU’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 12.5% to $1.553 billion as its theme parks swing from a $393 million loss a year ago to a $221 million profit this year.

Revenue rose 39.2% to $7.995 billion.

EBITDA fell 15.8% to $1.378 billion at NBCU’s Media division as higher costs--including programming and production expenses as sports returned-- offset a 25.7% increase in revenue to $5.148 billion. Excluding Peacock, the Media unit's EBITDA was  essentially flat, the company said.

Advertising revenue increased 32.8% reflecting the return of sports and higher prices and the comparison to a year ago, when many advertisers reduced spending in the face of COVID-19. 

Distribution revenue rose 19%.

Overall Comcast reported a 25.1% increase in net income to $3.738 billion in the second quarter, or 80 cents a share, from $2,988 billion, or 65 cents a share.

Revenue rose 20.4% to $28.546.

Comcast Cable’s EBITDA rose 14.5% to $7.073 billion as revenue grew 10.9% to $16.002 billion.

Video revenue grew 2.6% to $5.554 billion and broadband revenue rose 14.3% to $5.717 billion.

The company said it added 354,000 broadband customers and lost 399,000 video customers. It added 280,000 wireless lines in the quarter.

“We delivered excellent results in the quarter, continuing our great start to the year,” said CEO Brian Roberts. “We remain committed to innovating for our customers and investing for a strong future. I have great confidence in our strategy and our ability to execute, which is reflected in our decision to restart our share repurchase program during the quarter, earlier than previously planned."

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.