Comcast Revenues Up 11 Percent but Cable Subscriptions Down 48,000 in Q3
Comcast revenue increased 11.2 percent, cash flow was up 8.4 percent and operating income increased 6.9 percent in third-quarter earnings released Tuesday morning.
But cable subscriptions are still suffering from increased competition from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Comcast lost 48,000 customers in the quarter — but that’s a 41 percent improvement from the third quarter of 2014, and the best third-quarter result in nine years, the company reported. (It lost 69,000 subscribers in Q2.) Perhaps that’s a testament to the strength of the modernized X1 operating system — now in the hands of 25 percent of Comcast video customers.
Comcast added 320,000 high-speed Internet customers in the quarter — the best Q3 result in six years. Revenue in that sector grew 10.2 percent.
But a big driver of revenues has been NBCUniversal, which has been releasing hit movie after hit movie this year — like Minions and Jurassic World in Q3. After what CEO Brian Roberts said in statement was “another record-breaking box office quarter,” the movie studio saw revenues increase 64 percent to $1.9 billion in the quarter (up from $1.2 billion in Q3 of 2014.)
Comcast’s business services continued its impressive growth, seeing revenues increase by 19.5 percent in the quarter. That’s makes it the second-largest contributor to cable revenue growth for 18 of the last 19 quarters.
Meanwhile, Comcast’s cable networks segment saw revenues increase 7 percent in the third quarter to $2.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion in Q3 of 2014. That was driven by an 8.6 percent increase in distribution revenue. Revenues at its broadcast television segment increased 11.3 percent to 2 billion — up from 1.8 billion in Q3 of 2014.
Comcast saw “the highest summer attendance ever at our theme parks,” said Roberts. That led to third-quarter revenue of $896 million, up 14.1 percent from Q3 of 2014. That growth was led by Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, and Fast and Furious: Supercharged at the Hollywood park.
Comcast is reportedly in talks to add another business line to its portfolio — cell phone service. Comcast has notified Verizon of its intent to resell cellular service using the carrier’s network, according to multiple news outlets. In a $3.6 billion deal struck in 2012, Comcast and other cable companies sold Verizon spectrum licenses and received the right to resell wireless services in return. That could mean Comcast would offer a hybrid cellular and Wi-Fi service, using Verizon’s network and Wi-Fi hotspots. Perhaps we’ll learn more during Comcast’s earnings call which begins at 8:30 a.m.