Updated 10:20 a.m. ET
NBCUniversal's cable and broadcast networks chalked up solid
gains in cash flow and revenues during the second quarter, owner Comcast
Operating cash flow rose 21.3% to $1.2 billion in the
quarter for NBCU. Revenues rose 8.9% to nearly $6 billion.
NBCU's cable networks, including USA, Bravo and Syfy, had
operating cash flow of $860 million, up 8.9% from a year ago. Revenues rose
7.7% to $2.4 billion. Ad revenue was up 5.7% and distribution revenue gained
4.4%. The revenue gain also reflects a new content licensing agreement.
The company's broadcast television unit, including NBC,
showed a 6.4% increase in cash flow. Revenue rose 11.6% to $1.7 billion.
Advertising revenue was up 13% reflecting higher ratings, the company said.
Retransmission fees also grew, though content licensing revenue was lower.
"NBCUniversal had strong performance across all of its
businesses," Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, said in a statement.
"NBCUniversal has real momentum, with solid growth in revenue and
double-digit cash flow growth. We have a fantastic combination of cable and
content businesses with many opportunities ahead."
During the company's earnings call, NBCU CEO Steve Burke
said that NBC's primetime revenue was up 13% in the upfront. NBC
concluded its upfront sales this week. "Our ratings and CPM [price on a
cost-per-thousand viewers basis] were the best we've had in about nine years,"
Burke also said cable CPMs were up in the 7% to 8% range,
with USA and Bravo doing particularly well. "One of the ways we accomplished
this was we sold all our properties together, which for a company like ours,
with so many different television properties, allows us to go into the market
with a sort of one-stop shopping, fully integrated approach," he said. "We think that works."
Asked about the upcoming launch of the Fox Sports 1 cable
channel, Burke said he didn't think it affected NBC Sports or the NBC Sports
Network. "We've always had a lot of competitors," he said, adding that both NBC
Sports and the NBC Sports Network should get a boost from the
acquisition of TV rights to NASCAR races. The deal provides programming for
"20 weekends a year at a time when the NHL is not playing," he said. "Now we
have professional sports year round."
Comcast's overall net income was $1.7 billion, or 65 cents a
share, in the quarter, up 29% from $1.3 billion, or 50 cents a share, a year
ago, and exceeding Wall Street forecasts.
Revenue rose 7% to $16.3 billion.
operating cash flow rose 5.7% to $4.3 billion on a 5.8% gain in revenue to
$10.5 billion. The company said it added 189,000 combined video, high-speed
Internet and voice customers in the quarter.