NBCU CEO's Ad Outlook: 'Stabilized,' But Still Weak For Early 2023

Some TV advertising news that could potentially be positive comes from NBCUniversal CEO’s Jeff Shell, who said during Comcast’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday the advertising market seems to have “stabilized.”

“There are parts of the market that are really doing well -- pharma, entertainment. Travel is on fire.” said Shell.

“[Still] there are parts of the market that feels uncertain. Tech, auto, financial services all are weak."

He added: “The ad market feels like it has stabilized a bit. And we are assuming it is going to stay weak for the first half of this year and then recover.”

Company-wide, NBCUniversal's advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022 was up 4% to $2.98 billion. But taking out the late-fall bump from the FIFA World Cup, advertising revenue sank 5.6%.



He added that those lagging TV markets -- technology, automotive and financial services -- possibly “are really holding back. And when they do advertise they are coming in later than usual.”

Shell added: “It feels like it has to do with less to do with businesses not doing well, and more about macro uncertainty.”

NBCU credits Peacock’s streaming revenue gains. “Peacock’s growth is really helping to offset the linear weakness which is fortuitous for us,” he said.

Peacock's revenues totaled $660 million for the fourth quarter, and $2.1 billion for all of 2022.

The annual revenue take for Peacock was three times that of 2021, with a doubling of subscribers to 20 million.

At the same time, Peacock's losses keep mounting. The fourth quarter witnessed a $978 million adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Total EBITDA losses for the year were $2.5 billion.

Previously, Shell noted  the advertising market steadily worsened over the course of last year, and “bottomed out in last November early December.”

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