The Olympics poured gold into Comcast's coffers in the third
Instead of the loss incurred during previous games, Comcast's
NBC unit generated $88 million in cash flow as the London Olympics generated a
record $1.2 billion in revenue, Comcast said in its third quarter earnings
report, released Friday morning.
"NBCUniversal's results highlight the strong performance of
the Olympics and steady progress in its businesses as we invest to build
value," said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement. "The London Olympics
exceeded all our expectations and our entire company contributed to their
success, proving how effective we can be when we bring together our unique
assets and capabilities."
NBCU's revenue rose 3.22% to $6.8 billion, as the London
Olympics generated $1.2 billion in revenue for its television segment.
Excluding the Olympics, NBCU's revenues were up 8.3%.
Cash flow increased 19.9% to $1.1 billion, up from $951
million a year ago. Excluding the $120 million generated by the Olympics,
operating cash flow rose 7.3%.
At NBCU's broadcast television unit, cash flow was $88
million, compared to a $7 million loss a year ago. Revenues skyrocketed 83.8%
to $2.78 billion. Excluding the Olympics, revenue was up 5.2% but cash flow
declined by $25 million because of higher costs associated with an early start
to the fall TV season and covering the presidential campaign.
Comcast cable networks unit showed a 7.6% increase in cash
flow on a 3.2% gain in revenue to $2.17 billion. The company said distribution
revenue was up 5.7%, while advertising revenue was flat.
For all of Comcast, third-quarter net income rose 133% to
$2.1 billion, or 78 cents a share, from $908 million, or 33 cents, a year ago.
Those results include a 20 cent-per-share gain from the sale of wireless spectrum
licenses and a 12 cent-per-share gain from the sale of NBCU's interest in A+E
Television Networks. Excluding those gains, earnings per share were up 39% to
Revenues rose 15.4%
to $14.3 billion in the quarter from a year ago.
"The third quarter continues our momentum," Roberts said. "Cable's
results show real strength in every part of the business, producing sustainable
and profitable growth while we expand our product offerings, deliver more
innovation and continue to transform the customer experience. "
Comcast's cable operating cash flow increased 7.7% to $4
billion in the third quarter as revenue rose 6.9% to $29.5 billion. Despite
losing 117,000 customers, revenues from video rose 2.7%. High-speed internet revenues
increased 8.8% and phone was up 1.5%. Comcast's business services revenue
jumped 3.6% and its local cable advertising revenues 23.5%.
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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.