Quarterly report

NBCU's Broadcast TV Boosts Comcast's 4Q

Revenue from the segment increased 7.9% to $2 billion, driven by strong primetime ratings at the NBC network, as well as higher political ad money at the owned stations.
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TVNewsCheck,

Comcast reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2012 on Tuesday, a day earlier than announced. Revenue from the Broadcast Television segment increased 7.9% to $2.0 billion compared to $1.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, driven by strong primetime ratings at the NBC broadcast network, as well as higher political advertising at the owned local stations.

Operating cash flow increased $175 million to $95 million compared to a loss of $80 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily reflecting higher revenue and a slight reduction in programming and production costs.

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For the year ended December 31, 2012, pro forma revenue from the Broadcast Television segment increased 27.4% to $8.2 billion compared to $6.4 billion in 2011, driven by the success of the Super Bowl and the London Olympics. Excluding the Super Bowl and the Olympics, pro forma revenue increased 4.8%, reflecting strong primetime ratings at the NBC broadcast network and higher political advertising at the owned local stations, partially offset by lower content licensing revenue reflecting a library content agreement signed in 2011.

Pro forma operating cash flow increased $246 million to $369 million in 2012 compared to $123 million in 2011. Excluding the Olympics, pro forma operating cash flow increased $126 million to $249 million compared to $123 million in 2011, reflecting higher revenue and a slight increase in programming and production costs.

Brian L. Roberts, Comcast chairman-CEO, said: "I am really pleased to report strong results for the 4th quarter and the full year of 2012 and delighted that we are able to accelerate the acquisition of General Electric's 49% common equity interest in NBCUniversal while also having the financial strength to return capital to shareholders. To underscore our confidence, we are increasing our dividend by 20% and plan to repurchase $2 billion of our stock this year. Our businesses have real momentum and we continue to benefit from our focus on operational excellence and to leverage all of our content and technology platforms to expand the entertainment choices we offer consumers.

“Cable's fourth quarter and full year results demonstrate consistent improvement in customer metrics and growth in every product, led by high-speed Internet.

Brand Connections

“NBCUniversal's results principally highlight the improving performance of our broadcast businesses. Our ongoing investments in programming, technology and new products are driving innovation and supporting this strong performance. As we begin 2013, our scale in distribution and content, combined with our focus on execution and innovation, provides many opportunities to continue to build value for our shareholders."

For the fourth quarter of 2012, revenue from the Cable Networks segment increased 0.6% to $2.2 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, reflecting a 2.5% increase in distribution revenue that was negatively impacted by the NHL lockout, and a 1.5% decrease in advertising revenue reflecting the impact of lower ratings, mostly offset by price increases. Operating cash flow decreased 3.5% to $890 million compared to $923 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, reflecting higher programming and production costs, due to our ongoing investment in original programming and higher NBA programming costs compared to last year's fourth quarter.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, pro forma revenue from the Cable Networks segment increased 3.3% to $8.8 billion compared to $8.5 billion in 2011, reflecting a 4.7% increase in distribution revenue and a 2.2% increase in advertising revenue. Pro forma operating cash flow decreased 1.3% to $3.3 billion compared to 2011, reflecting higher programming and production costs, due to our ongoing investment in original programming and higher sports programming costs.

Read the company’s report here.

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 26, 2016
  • 1.
    4.4/12
  • 2.
    2.8/8
  • 3.
    2.5/7
  • 4.
    1.5/4
  • 5.
    0.8/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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