July 30, 2020 / 11:02 AM / 5 days ago

Comcast beats revenue expectations as broadband growth overshadows pandemic hit

July 30 (Reuters) - Comcast Corp on Thursday reported second-quarter revenue that beat expectations, as strong sign-ups for broadband offset weaker advertising sales at cable networks and broadcast TV.

In the three months, Comcast gained 323,000 broadband subscribers, beating analysts’ average estimate of 247,000 net additions, according to research firm FactSet. Revenue from the business grew 7.2% to $5 billion.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal segment, which includes NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures, reported revenue of $6.12 billion, down 25.4% from a year earlier. Revenue at the filmed entertainment unit fell 18.1% from a year earlier due to shuttered movie theaters. Theme park revenue plummeted 94.1%.

Broadcast TV advertising revenue was down 27.9% and ad revenue at Comcast’s cable networks fell 27%.

The company said it had 10 million signups to its Peacock streaming service, launched nationwide on July 15.

On Tuesday Comcast and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc , the world’s largest theater chain, announced a deal that will allow Universal Pictures’ movies to be made available to U.S. audiences at home after three weekends in cinemas - a model that upends the traditional practice of keeping a movie in theaters for 90 days before releasing it on other platforms.

Comcast’s video losses in the second quarter were better than expected. The company lost 477,000 video customers, fewer than the 513,000 loss estimated by FactSet and more than the 409,000 video customers it lost in the first quarter.

Comcast reported second-quarter revenue of $23.72 billion, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $23.57 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

British pay-TV group Sky generated second-quarter revenue of $4.08 billion, beating the average estimate of $3.91 billion.

Net income attributable to Comcast fell to $2.99 billion, or 65 cents per share, from $3.13 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Helen Coster in New York. Additional reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)

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