Comcast’s NBCUniversal posted big 15% gains in revenue in the first quarter -- largely thanks to its film entertainment and cable TV businesses.
NBCU’s revenues rose 14.7% to $7.9 billion -- with film entertainment up 43% to $1.9 billion from higher theatrical revenue from “Fifty Shades Darker,” “Get Out,” “Split” and its animated “Sing.” NBC also gained from including DreamWorks in the current period.
Cable networks' revenue improved 7.6% to $2.6 billion from higher distribution and content licensing and other revenue, which were up 8.6%. Yet there was lower advertising revenue -- down 2.9%, due to a drop in viewing.
Broadcast TV for NBCU climbed 5.9% in revenue to $2.2 billion -- also from higher distribution fees, as well as other and content licensing revenue. Distribution and other revenue rose at 33.4% as a result of higher retransmission consent fees.
Advertising for NBCU, its networks and stations, was virtually unchanged -- up 0.3%. There were higher rates but lower audience ratings and advertising volume.
NBCU’s theme parks revenue improved 9.0% to $1.1 billion as a result of better attendance and higher per visitor spending.
Revenue from Comcast’s core video business was up 4.3% to $5.7 billion; it gained 42,000 subscribers in the period down from 53,000 in the same period a year before.
Internet/broadband business rose strongly -- 10.1% higher to $3.6 billion. It added 397,000 customers, down a bit from 403,000 in the first quarter 2016.
Local cable advertising sank 6.3% in part because of lower political advertising versus the year-earlier period.
Overall, Comcast Corp. revenue grew 8.9% to $20.5 billion with net income up 20% higher to $2.6 billion. Mid-day Thursday trading of its stock was gained 4% to $40.36.