NBCU's Broadcast TV Boosts Comcast's 4Q
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.
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.
“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.