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Comcast reports higher Q3 earnings, but no updated Peacock sub numbers

Comcast reported its third quarter earnings on Thursday (Oct. 28), with US$30.3 billion in revenue for the period, an increase of 18.7% from the same period a year earlier, while ...
October 28, 2021

Comcast reported its third quarter earnings on Thursday (Oct. 28), with US$30.3 billion in revenue for the period, an increase of 18.7% from the same period a year earlier, while revenue at NBCUniversal jumped 57.9% to $10.0 billion.

But the conglomerate declined to reveal updated data about subscribers to its streaming service Peacock this quarter. It’s unknown if that was a decision for this quarter only, or if moving forward Comcast aims to keep its Peacock subscriber numbers private. During the company’s Q2 report this past summer, it reported 54 million total subscribers with more than 20 million active accounts.

“Everything on Peacock is heading in the right direction,” said NBCUniversal president Jeff Shell during the quarterly conference call. “We couldn’t be more excited about where Peacock is.”

Comcast’s net income for the third quarter almost doubled from the previous year, to $4.03 billion, an increase of 99.8%. Adjusted net income, meanwhile, was up 34.6% to almost $4.04 billion, while adjusted EBITDA rose 18.1% to $8.9 billion.

The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.86 for Q3, again almost doubling from the previous year, up 95.5%. Adjusted EPS was up 33.8% to $0.87.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal division, which presents its earnings divided into media, studios and theme parks segments, reported a 57.9% rise in Q3 revenue to $10 billion, which includes $1.8 billion from the Tokyo Olympics included in the media category. Adjusted EBITDA, meanwhile, rose 48.2% to $1.3 billion.

NBCUniversal’s media revenue rose 47.5% to $6.8 billion in the quarter on higher ad and distribution revenue. Media revenue was up 9.2% excluding $1.8 billion in revenue generated from the Tokyo Olympics. Ad revenue jumped 73% on the Olympics broadcasts as well as Peacock sales and higher pricing, offset by other sports and declining ratings.

The media results include $230 million in revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $520 million related to Peacock, compared to $41 million in revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $233 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue at Comcast-owned UK broadcaster Sky was up 4.1% to $5 billion in Q3. Excluding the impact of currency, revenue for the quarter was consistent with the year-earlier period, reflecting lower content revenue partially offset by higher ad revenue and consistent direct-to-consumer revenue.

“I am pleased with our strong operating and financial results this quarter. Each of our businesses posted significant growth in adjusted EBITDA, contributing to a double-digit increase in our adjusted EPS,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts in a statement.

“Our results at NBCUniversal continue to be driven by the ongoing recovery at our domestic theme parks, as well as the success of our linear and streaming media platforms. At Sky, our UK business maintained its momentum, delivering healthy growth in revenue, EBITDA, and customer relationships.”

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