NBC’s Peacock streaming hub is making its way in the world — but the cost of doing so is becoming onerous.

Broadband-and-entertainment giant Comcast said it managed to add five million new subscribers to its Peacock, but generated substantial investment to do so, even as it had to navigate a slowdown in its overall broadband business and pay out severance to reduce staff.

The company’s top executive seems to think the costs of being in streaming are worth it. Comcast “more than doubled” its paying Peacock subscribers, according to a statement from Brian Roberts, the company’s chairman and CEO, while revenue “nearly tripled” to $2.1 billion.

The owner of the Xfinity cable business and the NBC and Telemundo networks said revenue during the period rose just 0.7% to to $30.6 billion. Profit came to $3.02 billion, or 70 cents a share, compared with $3.06 billion, or 66 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue in Comcast’s cable operation, its biggest economic driver, rose 1.4% to $16.64 billion. Comcast said it lost 440,000 video subscribers and 26,000 broadband subscribers during the fourth quarter, some due to the damage caused by Hurricane Ian in Florida.

NBCUniversal saw a 6% boost to revenue, which rose to approximately $9.89 billion. The 2022 FIFA World Cup, which was made available on Telemundo and Peacock, added to its coffers. But investment in Peacock and severance expenses took a toll. NBCU took an adjusted loss of $978 million related to Peacock, compared with a loss of $559 million in the year-earlier period.

Revenue at Comcast’s Sky pay-TV unit fell to $4.4 billion from $5.1 billion.


More to come….