Comcast Corp. saw its second-quarter net income rise more than 7% as audiences flocked to movies from itsUniversal division and more customers picked up high-speed Internet service from its cable unit.
The Philadelphia owner of NBCUniversal said net income in the period came to $2.14 billion, or 84 cents a share, compared with $1.99 billion, or 76 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 11% to $18.74 billion, compared with $16.8 billion in the year-earlier period.
The results came even as performance at the company’s TV networks softened as the result of shifts in the way marketers are advertising. Advertising revenue at the company’s cable networks, under NBCUniversal, fell 3%, and advertising revenue at its broadcast operations increased only a little, Comcast said. While NBCUniversal notched a greater amount of advance advertising commitments in the recent “upfront” market, when TV companies try to sell the bulk of their ad time for the coming programming cycle, commitments placed against primetime entertainment on NBC were flat and ad-buying executives have said NBCU had to make pricing concessions at its cable networks to gain better deals at its NBC broadcast outlet.
But performance at the company’s other operations carried the day. Revenue from NBCU’s filmed-entertainment segment rose 92.7% to $2.3 billion, driven by what Comcast said was record performances of “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World.” And the company said it narrowed losses of subscribers who were “cord cutting” and abandoning its video services to 69,000, compared with 144,000 in the year-earlier period. Comcast saw a revenue increase of 10% from high-speed Internet customers, 20.4% from customers of business services and 3.7% from video customers.
Revenue from Comcast’s overall cable operations rose 6.3% to $11.7 billion, compared to $11 billion in the year-earlier period, while revenue from NBCUniversal rose 20.2% to $7.2 billion, compared to $6.0 billion in the second quarter of 2014.