That huge jump comes from the Winter Olympics. But even without it, revenue was up 17% due to ad gains and higher retrans fees.
Olympics Boost NBC Broadcast TV Rev 73%
Comcast Corp. today reported results for the first quarter of 2014 that included an 72.8% increase in revenue from its broadcast television segment to $2.5 billion compared to $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2013.
That increase included $846 million of revenue generated by the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Excluding the Olympics, revenue increased 17%, driven by a 15.8% increase in advertising revenue due to strong ratings at the NBC broadcast network, as well as an increase in content licensing revenue and higher retransmission consent fees.
Operating cash flow increased $157 million to $122 million compared to a loss of $35 million in the first quarter of 2013, reflecting higher revenue, partially offset by higher programming and production costs related to the Olympics.
Revenue from its Cable Networks segment increased 12.6% to $2.5 billion compared to $2.2 billion a year ago, and included $257 million generated by the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Excluding the Olympics, revenue increased 1%, reflecting a 4.4% increase in distribution revenue, partially offset by higher sports programming costs, including the impact of the Olympics.
Revenue for NBCUniversal increased 28.8% to $6.9 billion in the first quarter compared to $5.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.
For the company as a whole, revenue increased 13.7% to $17.4 billion. Operating cash flow increased 10% to $5.5 billion. Operating income increased 16.3% to $3.6 billion.
Brian L. Roberts, chairman-CEO of Comcast Corp., said: “Our operating momentum is continuing as we enter 2014 and is highlighted by our second consecutive quarter of video customer growth, as well as strength in high-speed Internet and business services. Our focus on the customer experience continues to drive our success as we deliver the most innovative products in the industry and make measurable progress in customer service.
“At NBCUniversal, we had another superb quarter with double-digit revenue and operating cash flow growth driven by the tremendously successful Sochi Olympics and the best season-to-date broadcast ratings in a decade.
“Overall, the company is performing well and the more planning we do for our proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, the more excited we are by the opportunities for the combined company. Comcast has tremendous momentum right now, and we believe the TWC transaction will strengthen a truly world-class organization that will be well positioned to compete and yield meaningful benefits to our customers, employees, and shareholders.”