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.