Although Comcast Corp. says NBCUniversal’s Peacock has now grown to 42 million U.S. subscribers in the first quarter, NBC’s ad revenue for all its media platforms was down 3.4%.
Peacock is positioned as a free, ad-supported streaming platform. It launched in the middle of last year.
The decline is due to lower linear TV ratings. Comcast says it was offset by higher pricing and more sports TV ad volume sold.
In addition, the decline in advertising was offset by advertising at Peacock.
The company did not break out NBCUniversal media or Peacock advertising financial specifics.
Total media revenue for NBCUniversal was up 3.2% to $5.04 billion.
Advertising at Comcast's local-based cable TV platforms grew 10.8% to $618 million in the first three months of 2021. This was the result of “higher revenue from its advanced advertising business, as well as from recent acquisitions.” Taking out political ads, revenue grew 13.3%.
In Europe, at its Sky television unit, Comcast says ad revenue increased 3.4% to $574 million, due to higher advanced ad revenue in the U.K.
For its own marketing and advertising efforts, Comcast's spending declined from $1.9 billion in the year before period to $1.6 billion.
At Comcast's scrutinized cable operations, the unit incurred a similar net loss in subscribers to a year ago -- down 404,000 versus 388,000. It now has 18.6 million residential subscribers. But broadband business keeps rising -- adding 448,000 for a total of 28.8 million.
Overall, Comcast revenue was up 2.2% to $27.2 billion, with net income at $3.3 billion, up from $2.2 billion.
Comcast stock was up 4% to $56.24 in early Thursday trading.