NBCUniversal said its Peacock direct-to-consumer streaming service lost $277 million in the first quarter as signups rose to 42 million.
NBCU and other media companies are pivoting to streaming as consumers cut the cord with traditional pay TV. NBCU’s parent Comcast reported that it lost 491,000 video customers while adding 461,000 broadband customers.
The company said Peacock benefited in the quarter from the addition of exclusive domestic streaming rights to WWE Network and The Office.
Peacock had revenues of $91 million in the quarter.
NBCUniversal’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 11.8% to $1.49 billion. The company’s media group’s EBITDA fell 3.7% to $1.473 billion. The studios segment rose 65.7% to $497 million.
The company said that because of its content being licensed to Peacock, its studios lost $1 billion in revenue, compared to $492 million in 2020 and $210 million in EBITDA.
Excluding Peacock, NBCU’s adjusted EBITDA was up 10%.
NBCU revenue was down 9.1% to $7.024 billion. Revenues at its media segment were up 3.2% to $5.036 billion. Ad revenue fell 3.4%. Distribution revenue rose 9.1%.
Overall, Comcast reported that first-quarter net income rose 44% to $3.329 billion, or 76 cents a share, from $2.147 billion, or 17 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 2.2% to $27.205 billion.
“We are off to a great start in 2021. Our entire company performed well across the board, highlighted by another strong performance from cable, which posted its third consecutive quarter of double-digits. Adjusted EBITDA growth, while adding the most quarterly customer relationships in our company’s history,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
“Outside of cable, I was also very pleased by the persistent recovery and increasing momentum at NBCUniversal and Sky,” Roberts added. “Across all parts of the company, our teams are executing at a high level and collaborating to drive growth and innovation, and I couldn’t be more excited about our future.”
Comcast’s cable earnings rose 12.4% to $6.8 billion. Broadband revenue rose 12% to $5.6 billion while video revenue fell 0.2% to $5.623 billion. Advertising revenue rose 10.8% to $618 million.
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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.