Comcast Corp. capped off the first quarter of 2021 with US$27.2 billion in revenue — up 2.2% — as Peacock topped 42 million sign-ups across the U.S. and NBCUniversal revenue fell 9.1% to $7 billion.
Peacock ended Q4 2020 with 33 million sign-ups.
The telco’s net income increased 55.1% to $3.3 billion in Q1. Adjusted net income was up 8.1% to $3.5 billion, while adjusted EBITDA increased 3.5% to $8.4 billion.
Earnings per Share (EPS) for the first quarter of 2021 was $0.71, an increase of 54.3% compared to the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted EPS rose 7% to $0.76.
Beginning this quarter the telco is folding Peacock into NBCU results, which are presented in three segments: media, studios and theme parks.
NBCU’s media revenue rose 3.2% to $5 billion in Q1 2021, reflecting higher distribution revenue (up 9.1%).
That gain was partially offset by lower advertising revenue, which dipped 3.4%, partially offset by ad revenue from Peacock as well as higher pricing and sports volume.
Other revenue increased 5.3% due to an increase in revenue from the company’s digital properties.
Media results include $91 million of revenue and an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $277 million related to Peacock, compared to a loss of $59 million in the prior year period.
NBCU’s studios revenue decreased 0.6% to $2.4 billion in Q1 2021, primarily reflecting lower theatrical revenue, offset by higher content licensing revenue — up 14.1% largely due to a new licensing agreement for content that became exclusively available for streaming on Peacock during the quarter.
Revenue for Comcast’s UK broadcaster Sky, meanwhile, increased 10.6% to $5 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
Excluding the impact of currency, revenue increased 2%, which the company said reflected higher direct-to-consumer revenue (up 1.8% to $4.1 billion), advertising revenue (up 3.4% to $574 million) and content revenue (up 1.7% to $358 million).
“We are off to a great start in 2021. Our entire company performed well across the board, highlighted by another strong performance from cable, which posted its third consecutive quarter of double-digit Adjusted EBITDA growth, while adding the most quarterly customer relationships in our company’s history. Outside of cable, I was also very pleased by the persistent recovery and increasing momentum at NBCUniversal and Sky… At Sky, customer relationship additions increased by 221,000, marking the best first quarter result in six years despite the lockdowns imposed throughout Europe. Across all parts of the company, our teams are executing at a high level and collaborating to drive growth and innovation, and I couldn’t be more excited about our future,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts in a statement.