NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, has seen 54 million total signups as of this week, with more than 20 million monthly active accounts, Comcast stated in their second quarter report and conference call released on Thursday (July 29).
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a conference call with investors that the streaming service’s results were 50% higher than in Comcast’s last report. Roberts attributed this to the release of Boss Baby 2, the debut of Dr. Death which he said was Peacock’s most successful original series to date, and the airing of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Comcast’s second quarter financials also showed a strong performance compared to 2021, with Q2 revenue rising 20.4% to US$28.5 billion.
The strong performance came in part thanks to NBCUniversal’s results, which included an increase in revenue of 39.2% to over $7.9 billion, and an adjusted EBITDA that increased 12.5% to $1.6 billion. This increase was seen even despite the company losing $363 million on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s year-old streaming service, compared to a loss of $117 million in the prior year period.
Overall, Comcast’s year-to-date revenue is up 10.8% from last year, rising to just over $55.7 billion.
The telco’s net income increased 25.1% to $3.7 billion this quarter, with adjusted net income, similarly, rising 24.3% to $3.9 billion. Comcast’s adjusted EBITDA was up 12.6% to $8.9 billion.
Comcast’s earnings per share for the second quarter totaled $0.80, a 23.1% increase compared to Q2 2020. Adjusted EPS increased by a similar amount, up 21.7% to $0.84.
NBCU’s media revenue saw a major increase this quarter, up 25.7% to $5.1 billion, largely thanks to higher advertising, distribution and other revenue.
Advertising revenue for NBCU particularly saw a positive bump, with a 32.8% increase, reflecting more sporting events and higher pricing in the current period, along with reduced advertiser spending and cancelled sporting events in this quarter last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NBCU’s distribution revenue, meanwhile, increased 19% from contractual rate increases in this period and credits accrued at some of the company’s regional sports networks in the prior year period from the reduced games played by sports leagues in 2020. These increases were partially offset by a decline in subscribers at NBCU’s networks.
Other revenue for NBCUniversal saw a 31.1% increase thanks to the company’s digital properties.
NBCU’s studios revenue was up 8.4% to $2.2 billion in Q2 2021, primarily reflecting higher theatrical revenue, which was up $191 million. The theatrical revenue increase reflected the comparison to more theater closures or theaters operating at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, in the prior year period. It was also driven by the success of major releases this quarter including F9.
For Sky, Comcast’s UK broadcaster, revenue increased 14.9% to $5.2 billion in Q2, reflecting higher direct-to-consumer revenue, advertising revenue and content revenue. Much of this increase was also connected to recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Theme parks also delivered its first profitable quarter for the company since Q1 of 2020, increasing to $1.1 billion. The increase was driven by Universal Orlando and reflected improved operating conditions compared to the prior year period.
“We delivered excellent results in the quarter, continuing our great start to the year,” Roberts said in a statement.
“At Cable, our performance was exceptional, highlighted by 11% revenue and 15% Adjusted EBITDA growth, the best broadband and total customer relationship net additions on record for a second quarter, and the most wireless net additions since the launch of Xfinity Mobile in 2017. At NBCUniversal, Adjusted EBITDA increased an impressive 13%, fueled by the recovery at Theme Parks, particularly at Universal Orlando. And I am pleased with and encouraged by our customer and financial metrics in the U.K., which drove Sky’s double-digit total revenue growth in the quarter. We remain committed to innovating for our customers and investing for a strong future. I have great confidence in our strategy and our ability to execute, which is reflected in our decision to restart our share repurchase program during the quarter, earlier than previously planned,”