NBCU Takes Rev Hit, But Comcast Up Nearly 3%

NBCUniversal's broadcasting revenues took a major hit in the first quarter -- coming from bad comparisons to a year ago, when it had the Super Bowl as well as current lower prime-time ratings.

The Comcast company's broadcasting business went backwards 18.5% to land at $1.5 billion from a year ago when it was $1.9 billion. The Super Bowl brought in $259 million of revenue.

Still, leaving out the Super Bowl, NBC's revenue declined 5.3% -- much of this coming from lower prime-time ratings on the NBC broadcast network, as well as lower content licensing revenue. The broadcast TV group's operating cash-flow loss doubled from a year ago to $35 million for the period, versus a cash flow loss of $14 million.

Overall, NBCUniversal's revenue was down 2.4% to $5.34 billion. But NBC had good stories to tell when it came to specific businesses. Cable was up 4.6% to $2.23 billion in revenue, due to a 2.5% hike in advertising revenue coming from price increases. This helped offset generally lower ratings at its cable networks. Content licensing and other revenue declined 11.9%.

Revenue from its Filmed Entertainment unit was up 2.0% to $1.2 billion, coming from higher theatrical revenue "Les Miserables," "Identity Thief" and "Mama," as well as higher content licensing revenue.

Better business at its theme park lifted revenues 12.2% to $462 million. There was higher attendance at the Orlando and Hollywood parks, thanks to the timing of holidays.

Company-wide, Comcast was up 2.9% to $15.3 billion; net income was up 14% to 1.65 billion.

Looking at its cable operations, revenue for its Cable Communications was up 6.4% to $10.2 billion. There was a 8.6% revenue gain to $2.5 billion for its Internet business; a 3.7% increase to $5.1 billion when it came to all video business; a 2.6% rise to $900 million for its voice business; and a 27.5% hike to $741 million for business services.

Total monthly average revenue per video customer was up 8.1% to $155.05 a month. Video customers continued to slowly decline, to 21.9 million from 22.3 million. But overall video, phone, and voice customers were up to 51.9 million, a gain of 565,000 for the period.



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