Network is top-rated in key demo for the first time since 2002
Pointing to higher ratings at NBC, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts says the network appears to be "in the beginning of a turnaround."
NBCUniversal was a particularly bright spot in Comcast's positive earnings report Friday. Roberts noted in a conference call that NBC is the top-rated network for the first four weeks of the season for the first time since 2002. (Though NBC leads in the key 18-49 demographic, CBS is the most-watched network overall.)
Roberts said NBC's ratings are up 17 percent over last season and 31 percent in entertainment. NBC spent years in fourth place.
"It's certainly early but I believe and hope we are seeing the beginning of a turnaround at NBC," Roberts said.
Comcast's third-quarter net income was $2.1 billion, up from $908 million in the same quarter of 2011. NBCUniversal's revenue increased 31.2 percent to $6.8 billion, thanks mostly to 2012 London Olympics revenue of $1.2 billion. Without the Olympics, NBCUniversal revenue increased 8.3 percent.
Comcast took over NBCU early in 2011.