NBCU Cash Flow Rises 20% in Second Quarter

Ad revenue lower for broadcast, cable units
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Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit reported a 20.4% increase in operating cash flow in the second quarter.

Operating cash flow was $1.4 billion, compared to $1.2 billion a year ago. Revenues rose 0.3% to $6.02 billion.

With NBC network climbing in the ratings from last place to first place, broadcast operating cash flow increased 16.2% to $240 million in the quarter.

Broadcast revenue was up 4.9% to $1.8 billion, driven by higher retransmission consent payments. Ad revenue was down 1.7% because NBC aired fewer hours of The Voice than it did in last year’s second quarter.

Cash flow at NBCU’s cable networks rose 6.3% to $914 billion. Revenue rose 2.6% to $2.5 billion as distribution revenue rose 4.2%, offsetting a 2.2% drop in ad revenue. Content licensing revenue was up 14.3%

Overall at Comcast Corp., second-quarter net income rose 15% to $1.99 billion, or 76 cents per share, from $1.73 billion, or 65 cents per share.

Revenues rose 3.5% to $16.8 billion.

Comcast, the nation’s biggest cable operator, said its customer base dropped by 25,000 to 26.8 million, a smaller drop than during last year’s second quarter, the company said. Video customers dropped to 22.5 million from 22.7 million.

The company is trying to complete its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable operator.

“We continue to see strong momentum across our cable and content businesses. In Cable, we posted the best second quarter customer results for both video and high-speed Internet in six years and saw tremendous demand for our X1 product, which is a truly transformative experience. We are also pleased with the continued rapid growth of business services, which has quickly become an important engine for the company,” CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. “NBCUniversal had another excellent quarter with double-digit operating cash flow growth driven by solid results in each segment and a first place finish for NBC for the 2013/2014 broadcast television season.”

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