Comcast Loses Q3 Video Subs, But Posts Strong Earnings

In the third quarter, Comcast Corp. lost 134,000 cable video subscribers and posted below overall revenue expectations, but beat earnings expectations.

A year ago in the third quarter, the media company/cable operator witnessed a slight increase in video subscribers, adding 19,000. At the same time, the company added 214,000 broadband internet customers versus 330,000 in the same period the year before.

Revenue from its cable video business grew 4.2% to $5.8 billion, with high-speed internet revenue adding 9% to $3.7 billion.

Comcast’s overall revenue for the period was down 1.6% to $20.98 billion -- largely due to unfavorable comparisons to NBCUniversal’s airing in the third-quarter 2016. Taking out the Rio Olympics revenues, amounting to $1.6 billion, Comcast posted a 5.8% increase.

NBCUniversal was down 12.7% in revenue to $8.0 billion - up 6% excluding the Rio Olympics.

NBC cable networks were down 11.5% to $2.6 billion. Advertising lost 16.5% because of the Olympics a year ago. Broadcast TV sank 31% to $2.1 billion, with advertising revenue down 45.6%.

NBCU’s filmed entertainment was virtually flat -- down 0.5% to $1.8 billion. Theatrical revenue was down 26.4% due to strong numbers from “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Jason Bourne” the year before. Home Entertainment revenue gained 14.4%. 

Theme parks added 7.7% to $1.6 billion, due to higher per person spending. Strong performing attractions included “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in Hollywood, “Minion Park” in Japan and “Volcano Bay” in Orlando.

Comcast net earnings rose 19.6% to $2.7 billion -- beating analyst expectations. Revenues were below estimates. Comcast stock was down 1.7% to $36.16 in mid-day Thursday trading.

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