NBCUniversal Revenue Sinks 25% In Q2, With Big Ad Declines For Cable, Broadcast

Revenue for Comcast’s NBCUniversal sank a massive 25.4% to $6.1 billion in the second quarter due to major declines in TV advertising -- largely due to COVID-19 disruptions that began in early March.

Overall cable network revenues were down 15% to $2.5 billion, with advertising collapsing by 27%. Distribution revenue sank 14.8%, due to its regional sports networks (RSNs) airing fewer games planned by professional sports leagues.

While total broadcast revenues dropped by just 1.6% to $2.4 billion, its advertising revenues -- similar to cable -- were also sharply down 28%.

One positive for NBCU was the strong growth of 9% in retransmission/distribution revenue for its broadcast TV stations and networks.

In addition, NBCU's recently launched Peacock premium streaming service signed on 10 million subscribers after two weeks of operation.

Universal Pictures' film revenue was down 18% to $1.2 billion -- largely as a result of the closing of movie theaters. Theme parks were down 94% to $87 million.

NBCUniversal recently announced a deal with AMC Theatres in the U.S. that allows Universal to release titles across premium streaming platforms after a 17-day exclusive theatrical window -- much faster than the traditional 90-day exclusive period.

Local cable advertising was down 29.5% year-over-year to $428 million. 

Overall, Comcast Corp. posted a big 12% decline in revenues to $23.7 billion -- slightly better than expected, according to analysts. Cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was also lower -- losing 9% -- to $7.9 billion.

Comcast Cable Communications’ biggest positive was its soaring broadband business, which added 340,000 subscribers (to total 29.4 million subscribers).

At the same time, Comcast continues to lose video subscribers -- 478,000, a bit lower than anticipated, to 20.4 million total subscribers. 

Video is now losing subscribers at a 5.9% annual rate, according to MoffettNathanson Research, up from 4.7% annually from a year ago. Video revenue was down 3.2% to $5.4 billion.

Residential broadband revenue was 7.2% higher to $5.0 billion.

Comcast’s European Sky TV network witnessed revenues down 16%, with advertising sinking 41%. Sports subscription revenue was also a key factor in Sky’s revenue decline.

Comcast stock was up 2.4% to $44.16 in mid-day Thursday trading.

 
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