NBC coverage of Olympics brings boost

Comcast investors have to be pleased with the stock’s performance over the first three quarters of 2012.

According to figures compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices, the company’s Class A shares (CMCSA) outperformed 476 other stocks in the S&P 500 Index during the first nine months of the year, with a gain of 50.9%. That put it just 12 slots behind Apple, the computer company that has become a major force in entertainment distribution. Apple shares gained 64.8% over the same period.

Why were investors smitten with Comcast, majority owner of NBCUniversal? One reason was the success of the Peacock net’s Olympics coverage. From the day before the Opening Ceremony to the day after the closing festivities, Comcast shares gained 9.3%. Although the stock has climbed for much of the year, a glance at its chart shows the sharpest gains came during the London events.

Parent companies of the major broadcast nets did better than the overall market through the end of September, as advertising revenue firmed (see chart).

All benefited from election spending, but only Comcast had Olympic gold.

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