Former President Trump pledged to investigate Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, if he is elected in 2024, saying it “will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events.” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post Sunday: “They are almost all dishonest and corrupt, but Comcast, with its one-side and vicious coverage by NBC NEWS, and in particular MSNBC, often and correctly referred to as MSDNC (Democrat National Committee!), should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason.”
Comcast and Disney have modified their Hulu agreement to enable the expected buyout of Comcast’s one-third stake in the streamer to begin on September 30 instead of next January. The news was shared at a Goldman Sachs conference appearance by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who said the initial minimum valuation of $27.5 billion for Hulu agreed to in 2019 was “just a hypothetical.” He suggested the final price tag could be much higher. Roberts said both companies “wanted to get this behind us,” so they reached an agreement last week to accelerate the timeline.
In a complicated case that has received little notice, Comcast is suing chipmaker MaxLinear for breach of contract for attempting to terminate two agreements that provide ongoing support for millions of broadband gateways and set-tops that use MaxLinear technology. The Comcast-MaxLinear legal entanglement sends ripples across a handful of top U.S. cable and satellite service operators. Comcast’s lawsuit, filed with a New York court on May 26, has linkages to a wave of separate lawsuits filed in February in a California court by a separate entity called Entropic Communications targeting Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Dish Network and DirecTV, claiming they are infringing on 20 patents.
CFO Jason Armstrong noted that the dual revenue streams at Peacock, subscription and advertising, are offsetting weakness at the linear networks. He said domestic advertising was down 5% overall for the NBCU media businesses, while advertising revenues for Peacock were up 75%.
Comcast beat analyst estimates on Thursday when it reported its second quarter results, as higher pricing helped offset a continued slowdown in its broadband business. The company also said the number of subscribers for its streaming service Peacock nearly doubled to 24 million compared to the prior-year period, with revenue up 85% to $820 million. Still, losses from the streaming platform continued to weigh on NBCUniversal’s media business.
Comcast said it signed a multi-year data license renewal with Nielsen that will expand the ratings firm’s access to return-path data about TV usage from millions of cable subscribers’ homes. Nielsen will increase its use of Comcast data in its Nielsen One measurement system and broaden its use for local-TV measurement in the 94 markets the two companies share.
Comcast has donated to opponents of LGBTQ rights despite signing a collective corporate statement against anti-LGBTQ state legislation.
The announcement of Comcast’s new virtual MVPD service, Now TV, comes at a pivotal moment for the media giant. The pay TV giant’s Xfinity cable service can’t stop shedding subscribers. It lost 2.1 million subs versus Q1 2021, 3.8 million versus Q1 2020, and it’s down 5.7 million subscribers when compared with the number held in 2018. In comparison, broadband subscribers grew by 5.6 million over the last five years, even if growth has plateaued in the last year as Comcast reaches the limits of its geographic footprint.
Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts has a penchant for lining up a huge deal around every five years or so. It was 2018 the last time he made a big acquisition, and Wall Street is ready for his next dramatic move. Gaming and streaming could be in the cards.
Hulu’s parents, Walt Disney Co. and Comcast, are negotiating to end their troubled marriage. Comcast can require Disney, which owns two-thirds of Hulu, to buy its one-third stake, or Disney can require Comcast to sell under a deal starting in 2024. Hulu has a minimum valuation of $27.5 billion under the agreement.
Comcast is rolling out Now TV, a streaming offering aimed at what it calls “the value-conscious consumer who wants an entertainment product.” For $20 a month, the service includes more than 40 live channels, among them A&E, AMC, Hallmark and selections from Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio, along with 20-plus free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channels from NBC, Sky and Xumo Play. A subscription to Peacock Premium is also included at no extra charge. Now TV is available to customers paying for internet service from Comcast’s Xfinity brand.
It seems more and more likely that Disney is going to fully own Hulu. It just comes down to price. Speaking Tuesday at MoffettNathanson’s Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in New York, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts addressed Comcast selling its 33% stake in the streamer. “I think it’s more likely than not,” Roberts said.
Comcast subscribers aren’t able to view NFL Network after the cable company pulled the channel when its carriage agreement expired.
The move comes two days after the conclusion of the NFL draft.
Comcast says churn and disconnects haven’t increased, it’s more a matter of fewer broadband “connects” leading customers back into the pay TV ecosystem.
With Comcast President Mike Cavanagh now directly overseeing NBCU, Bank of America analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich asked during a Q&A whether his dual role should be viewed as a permanent solution. “The short answer to the question is me stepping in to oversee NBC is quite sustainable,” he said.
Comcast reported a 4% year-over-year dip in revenue in the first quarter, to $29.7 billion, but still exceeded Wall Street forecasts. Analysts had expected $29.3 billion in revenue. Earnings per share, meanwhile, handily beat expectations at 92 cents. NBCU said streaming service Peacock is now at 22 million subscribers, up more than 60% from the same period in 2022. Revenue at Peacock increased 45% to $685 million, though losses continue to hit the balance sheet.
Comcast has natively integrated 21 FAST (free, ad-supported TV) channels into its Xfinity Stream app. Stream users now have free access to NBC News Now, Sky News and 19 Xumo-branded channels spanning comedy, crime TV, black cinema, lifestyle, reality TV, game shows, kids and more. These channels are now integrated natively into the Stream UX and are available to all Comcast subscribers, regardless of whether they pay for Xfinity TV.
The executive is a company veteran but a relative newcomer to Hollywood, unlike Shell, who left after an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
Comcast is not interested in running the regional sports networks Warner Bros. Discovery is planning to shut down, according to a published report. Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League all have teams whose games are carried by WBD’s AT&T Sports Nets in Pittsburgh, Houston and Denver. Rather than seeing those networks shut down — and stop paying right fees — the league reached out to Comcast, which has TV stations in those markets and operates its own constellation of five regional sports networks, according to Sports Business Journal. Comcast a year ago sold its majority stake in another RSN, NBC Sports Washington, to Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Comcast declined the new overture, according to SBJ.
Comcast is ending Peacock’s free ride on Xfinity in the next few months. Since the streaming service launched in 2020, the cable giant has provided access to the ad-supported version of Peacock Premium (regularly $4.99/month) to Xfinity TV and broadband customers for no extra charge. However, as of June 26, Peacock Premium will no longer be bundled in for free for Xfinity customers.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said today that he’s open to selling Hulu — instead of forking over billions of dollars to buy out Comcast’s stake in the streaming platform. Asked on CNBC about his plans for Hulu as a 2024 deadline to buy it or sell it approaches, he said: “Everything is on the table right now, so I am not going to speculate whether we are a buyer or a seller of it. But I obviously have suggested that I’m concerned about undifferentiated general entertainment, particularly in the competitive landscape that we are operating in, and we are going to look at it very objectively and expansively.”
Florida awarded more than $144 million for broadband projects across 41 counties there, with Comcast scoring nearly a third of the money doled out from the state’s Broadband Opportunity Program. However, Charter Communications and Cox Communications also emerged as big winners. Comcast came away with a total of $45.2 million for 23 different projects, making it the largest grant winner by a wide margin.
The $15.7 million sale follows a big runnup in BuzzFeed’s shares following the announcement it will use AI to produce content
He tells analysts, “The ad market feels to me like it has stabilized a bit. We’re assuming it’s going to stay weak for the first half of this year and then recover, but who really knows, based on the macro economy.”
Comcast Corporation topped Wall Street earnings expectations for the fourth quarter of 2022 on Thursday, posting adjusted earnings per share of 82 cents, on revenue of $30.55 billion. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected the NBCUniversal parent’s adjusted EPS figure to come in at 77 cents per share, while revenue was expected to be $30.32 billion.
The scandal has already cost the troubled regional sports network its president and CFO.
Comcast has upped its deputy chief financial officer Jason Armstrong to the CFO post, succeeding Mike Cavanagh, who was named president of the NBCUniversal parent last October. Armstrong has served in several financial leadership positions over the past nine years.
Comcast and Standard General have struck an agreement confirming Standard General’s pledge to the FCC that it would agree not to raise the retransmission consent rates of Tegna stations charged to MVPDs to that of its Cox Media Group TV stations — if applicable — after the closing of its deal to buy those Tegna stations. That is according to Standard General, which said the agreement on not raising the rates was reached this week with Comcast, which is the largest cable group carrying Tegna stations.
Most customers will see their bills go up by $3, including those on promotional contracts.
Comcast Corp. and Nexstar Media Group reached an agreement over the weekend that prevented millions of Xfinity pay TV customers from losing dozens of Nexstar-owned local stations. The agreement comes after Comcast was forced to pull at least one Nexstar-controlled station — WPIX (ch. 11, CW) in New York City — and warned that it might have to drop more if a new contract could not be reached by mid-December.
Things keep getting messier between Comcast and Nexstar, with the cable operator filing a complaint at the FCC late Monday alleging that Nexstar and Mission have failed to negotiate retransmission consent in good faith. It comes as the cable operator faces the possibility of losing more than 90 Nexstar stations this weekend.
Comcast says it hooked up a real Philadelphia business to symmetrical multi-gigabit internet using Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 Tech. It says wide-scale ’10G’ deployment will start in 2023. (Photo: SCTE-ISBE/CableLabs)
Comcast’s TV service will see big increases in fine-print fees that it doesn’t advertise, while the large-print rates for its broadband will inch up by a smaller amount.
Comcast has started notifying customers and municipalities that it plans to raise video and Internet prices next month, including a whopping $7.35 a month increase for the Broadcast TV fee in one town.
Comcast announced that subscribers to its Xfinity X1, Flex and Stream services get a week of free viewing — from Nov. 22 through Nov. 28 — of “thousands of shows and movies” from such services as HBO Max, Amazon’s Prime Video, Showtime, AMC+ and more. Note that “thousands of” doesn’t mean “all of,” as the no-charge menu Xfinity is offering often only includes select series or particular seasons.