Peacock loses $651m as Comcast reports profitable Q2

Poker Face

Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal in the US and European pay-TV giant Sky, has exceeded Wall Street revenue expectations overall, but streaming growth is slow, despite huge revenue gains, as it reported its Q2 earnings.

NBCUniversal’s US streaming service Peacock, home to originals such as Poker Face and Dr Death, now has 24 million subscribers, up from 22 million in the last quarter and 13 million a year ago.

Meanwhile, its revenue rose by 85 per cent to $820m, however, the company posted an adjusted operating loss of $651m, lower than the $704m in the last quarter but far higher than the $444m a year ago.

Comcast CFO Jason Armstrong said that “strong growth in Peacock offset the performance at our linear networks”, noting that Peacock also bucked the trend of a decline in linear advertising, by posting a 75% uptick in its own advertising revenue.

It was a largely positive picture for Comcast, however, which posted revenues of $30.51bn for the quarter, up 1.7% and higher than prior analsyt estimates of $30.13bn. Adjusted EBITDA was up 4.2% to $10.24bn.

Theatrical revenue was up by 66% on last year, driven by the success of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, which grossed $1.3bn in worldwide box office, while the theme parks division also posted $2.2bn in revenue.

“We generated the best quarterly Adjusted EBITDA ever at Theme Parks, had the second-highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office revenue with Super Mario Bros., and nearly doubled paid Peacock subscribers year-over-year,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

“At the same time, we returned a healthy amount of capital to shareholders and maintained an enviable balance sheet. Our experienced and expert management team is executing at an exceptional level, and our long-term-oriented growth strategy is clearly working.”

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