Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told investors this morning that financial results at NBCUniversal — his 51/49 joint venture with General Electric — could be “flat, slightly down” this quarter due to disappointments at Universal Studios. “This year we have an unfortunate large miss in Battleship and The Five-Year Engagement,” he said at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference. Aside from the flops, the business is “where we expected.” But the results are head spinning following a strong Q1, with NBCU’s operating cash flow +34.3% with help from Safe House and Dr Seuss’ the Lorax. “We told everybody, don’t get used to that,” Roberts says. Elsewhere in NBCU, Roberts says that NBC’s “Bob Greenblatt is chipping away at a turnaround” for the broadcast network, while the cable networks “are great.” This summer’s Olympics in London probably won’t contribute to the bottom line, though. Comcast already accounted for the deal as an “unfavorable contract,” although Roberts says that “the Olympics haven’t begun yet so it’s all ratings dependent.” He hopes the games will “get to break even or better over the next decade” as NBCU increases showings on cable. Although Roberts initially said that there was no big surprise from the NBCU acquisition last year, he says he was startled to see “how steady the cash flow appears to be from the theme parks” with crowds flocking to Orlando’s The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter and the Transformers ride in Los Angeles. So will Comcast buy more programming assets? “We have a built in answer,” Roberts says. “We have to buy out GE over the next six years.” Indeed, he notes, the NBC balance sheet “is there to buy out GE.”
Comcast Chief: NBCU Earnings Torpedoed By 'Battleship' And 'Five-Year-Engagement'
What's Hot on Deadline
Stephen Colbert Feels "Blessed" By Donald Trump's Pick Of Potty-Mouth Scaramucci As Communications Chief
'Devil's Bargain': Blumhouse TV Acquires Book About Steve Bannon & Donald Trump For Limited Series Adaptation
Samuel L. Jackson To Star In 'Old Man' Drama Series From Jon Steinberg, Warren Littlefield & Fox 21 TV Studios
Latest Film News
- Marty Sklar Dies: Longtime Imagineer, Theme Park Designer & Walt Disney’s “Right-Hand Man” Was 83
- Peter Bart: Police Sadism In ‘Detroit’ May Stir Audiences, But Will It Also Provoke Them?
- ‘LBJ’ Trailer: Woody Harrelson As 36th President In Rob Reiner’s Next Film
- Fox & 21 Laps Land John Kamps Novel ‘The Prince’s Guard’
- Pablo Schreiber Joins Dwayne Johnson In ‘Skyscraper’
- ‘Brigsby Bear’s 3311 Productions Sets Two Movies