Comcast strikes Olympic gold

NBCU revenue surges 31% driven by London Games

Media giant Comcast saw net profit surge last quarter to $2.9 billion from $908 million a year ago on a major cash influx from the Summer Olympics and one-time items, like the sales of wireless spectrum and a stake in A&E Networks.

Revenue rose 15% to $14.3 billion.

NBCUniversal revenue surged 31% to $6.8 billion driven by $1.2 billion from the London Olympics that buoyed the broadcast biz. Excluding the Olympics, revenue rose 3.8%.

Strong showbiz numbers don’t yet reflect the super performance of NBC this television season, which started just as the quarter ended.

“NBCUniversal’s results highlight the strong performance of the Olympics and steady progress in its businesses as we invest to build value,” said Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts. “The London Olympics exceeded all our expectations and our entire company contributed to their success, proving how effective we can be when we bring together our unique assets and capabilities.”

Broadcast revenue surged 84% to $2.8 billion.

Excluding the games, operating cash flow declined by $25 million reflecting higher programming costs related to an early start of the fall TV season and news coverage of the presidential election.

Cable networks revenue rose 3.2% to $2.2 billion, with flat ad sales and a 5.7% increase in distribution revenue. Operating cash flow jumped 7.6% to $809 million reflecting higher revenue and flat programming and marketing costs due to timing.

Filmed entertainment revenue rose 24% to $1.4 billion driven by theatrics perfs of “Ted” and “The Bourne Legacy.” Film operating cash flow increased 31% to $72 million.

Revenue from the theme parks grew 5.8% to $614 million driven by solid performance at the Orlando and Hollywood parks. Cash flow rose 11% to $316 million.

Revenue for core cable operations rose 6.9% to $10 billion on increases in high-speed Internet (up 8.8%), business services (up 34%) and video (up 2.7%), and a 23% increase in advertising. Monthly average revenue per video customer rose 8.7% to $150.73.

Comcast lost 117,000 net video subscribers to end the quarter with 22 million subs. It added 287,000 net high-speed Internet subscribers. Voice net adds came to 123,000.

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