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NBCUniversal's Profits Increase 22.6% in Second Quarter

Gains in distribution revenue boosts cable networks, ad sales down

NBCUniversal posted a big increase in profits in the second quarter as distribution revenues increased at its cable and broadcast TV networks.

Parent company Comcast said NBCU’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 22.6% to $2.071 billion.

Revenues increased by 17.3% to $8.331 billion.

At the NBCU cable networks, earnings rose 11.7% to $1.055 billion as revenue rose 5.1% to $2.7 billion. An 8% gain in distribution revenue offset lower ad revenue. Ad revenues were down 0.9% because of lower ratings.

NBC’s broadcast operations increased their profits by 5.5% to $416 million. Revenue was up 5.3% to $2.241 billion. Distribution and other revenue was up 36.1% because of higher retransmission consent fees.

Advertising revenue was down 1.2%.

Profits jumped 40.7% at NBCU’s filmed entertainment unit and 17.3% at its theme parks.

"NBCUniversal continued to deliver outstanding performance, with 17.3% revenue growth and 22.6% Adjusted EBITDA growth,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. “Driving these tremendous results were the box office success of Fate of the Furious, continued increases in affiliate and retransmission revenues at our TV businesses, and impressive growth at our Theme Parks.”

Overall Comcast’s second-quarter net income rose 24% to $2.513 billion, or 52 cents a share, from $2.028 billion, or 41 cents a year ago.

Revenues rose 9.8% to $21.165 billion.

At Comcast’s cable business, earnings rose 5.4% to $1.956 billion in the quarter as revenues rose 5.5% to $13.12 billion.

Its total number of video subscribers fell by 34,000. The company added 175,000 high-speed internet customers. Phone customers were down 22,000.

Total customer relationships rose by 114,000.

“At Cable Communications, we generated strong Adjusted EBITDA growth and added 114,000 net new customer relationships, demonstrating our disciplined approach to driving profitability and customer metrics,” Roberts said. “We launched our fantastic new xFi experience for in-home broadband during the quarter, the latest example of our culture of innovation and continued focus on developing differentiated products and services for our customers.”