The Sochi Olympics generated more than $1.1B in revenue which enabled NBCUniversal to propel the cable giant’s strong financial results. Comcast generated $1.87B in net income attributable to the company, +30.2% vs the first three months of 2013, on revenues of $17.4B, +13.7%. The top-line number beat the $17.04B that analysts expected. Earnings not including one-time items came in at 68 cents a share, ahead of the consensus forecast of 64 cents. With the Olympics dough, NBCU revenues increased 28.8% to $6.88B with operating cash flow +37.6% to $1.31B. The broadcast operation led the way with a 72.8% boost in revenues to $2.6B — but still would have been up 17% without the Games due to a 15.8% increase in ad sales from NBC’s improved ratings. Cable network revenue increased 12.6% to $2.5B, but would have been up just 1% without the Olympics. due to a 1.4% drop in ad sales.
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At the smaller Universal filmed entertainment operation, revenues increased 11.1% to $1.4B with help from Ride Along and Lone Survivor and overseas sales for The Wolf Of Wall Street. And theme park revenues increased 5.4% to $487M as per capita spending increased while attendance remained stable. The core cable business also did well — even with video subscriptions, up by 24,000 to 22.6M. Revenues for all of the cable systems offerings including broadband increased 5.3% to $10.8B due to rate hikes, upselling, and customer growth. CEO Brian Roberts crowed about NBC’s “best season-to-date broadcast ratings in a decade.” As for his planned $45B acquisition of Time Warner Cable, he says that it “will strengthen a truly world-class organization that will be well positioned to compete and yield meaningful benefits to our customers, employees, and shareholders.”
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