Comcast beats revenue expectations as broadband growth offsets pandemic hit

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In quarterly earnings released today, Comcast said NBCUniversal's cable advertising revenues declined 27% and broadcast television advertising revenue dropped 27.9% year over year, due to the continued economic effects of the pandemic on advertiser spend and programming like live sports.

The second quarter marked the first for the company after the launch of Peacock (ad-supported streaming service) and the one that reflected the full impact of COVID-19 on Comcast's business.

Broadband Broadband growth remained strong at Comcast, as the operator raked in another 340,000 residential data customers (but lost 17,000 business broadband subs), marking the cable operator's best Q2 result in the category in 13 years and blowing away Wall Street expectations of about 200,000 broadband adds. Total compensation for the quarter fell 4.4 percent to $2.99 billion on income of $23.7 billion. It continued the trend, exasperated by the pandemic, of customers cutting the cable cord, while more of them sign up for Internet service.

Cable Communications increased its total number of customer relationships by 217,000 in the quarter, a 43-percent increase year-over-year - marking the best second quarter result on record for the segment. United Kingdom broadcaster Sky saw a 41.2% decline in advertising revenues, and sports' pause also translated in a loss of about 214,000 subscribers.

Local cable advertising was down 29.5% year-over-year to $428 million.

Comcast's Business unit has historically been very successful in the small-to-midsized business space with its connectivity services. Comcast lost 477,000 video customers.

Comcast's newest business, Sky, which was acquired in 2018, also suffered. "We're still the challenger".

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The second tier, called Peacock Premium, is available for no extra charge to Comcast and Cox subscribers. Of course, almost all of the 10 million signups haven't been paying for Peacock, at least not yet.

Comcast has extended promotions it has offered customers to help get through the new conditions set by the crisis, including making its Internet Essentials free through year-end and keeping its out of home Xfinity Wi-Fi hot spots free through the end of the year. It took some hits this quarter, mostly due to the pandemic. Overall revenue declining year-over-year by 25 percent. Its revenue from theme parks tanked an unprecedented 94.1% to £66.65 million in the second quarter. Roberts referred to the struggling business segment's performance as "momentary".

(MENAFN - Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) reported its second-quarter earnings before the bell on Thursday, beating analyst estimates on the top and bottom lines.

The company also said that it gained 10 million sign-ups for its new Peacock streaming service, which launched this month, though it's not clear how many of those are Premium, and how many were Comcast subscribers personally.

Overall, Comcast's net income fell 4.4% to $2.99 billion, or 65 cents per share.

On Tuesday, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Comcast's Universal Pictures reached a deal that would allow movies to play in theaters for much less time before moving to home video.

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