Comcast Earnings: NBCUniversal Revenue Soars 58% in Tokyo Olympics, ‘F9’ Quarter

Studio profits declined as production — and associated costs — ramped back up

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 11
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

NBCUniversal parent company Comcast beat on both revenue and earnings expectations in the third quarter of 2021, which featured both the (delayed) Tokyo Olympics and the release of Universal’s “F9.”

Wall Street had forecast earnings per share (EPS) of 75 cents on $29.87 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Yahoo Finance. Comcast reported adjusted EPS of 87 cents on $30.298 billion in revenue. The adjustment made up just one penny per share.

Comcast’s net income was $4 billion.

NBCU revenue soared 58% to $10 billion in the quarter, making up about one-third of Comcast’s overall top-line figure. The Tokyo Olympics alone were responsible for $1.8 billion in revenue, with ad sales jumping 73%. Of course, there were also massive costs associated with putting on the already pricey 2020 Summer Olympics in the summer of 2021. Overseas, Sky TV revenue rose 4% thanks to advertising growth.

Peacock’s Q3 revenue was $230 million, but the SVOD service took a loss of $520 million.

While Universal Pictures studio revenue grew thanks to the theatrical releases of “F9” and “The Boss Baby: Family Business” — plus, just having theaters open this summer vs. last — profits declined as production ramped up.

Meanwhile, theme parks continued to come back from COVID in Q3, which was the Orlando, Florida location’s most profitable quarter ever.

Comcast’s cable communications business, which is still its largest, saw revenue rise north of 7%.

“I am pleased with our strong operating and financial results this quarter. Each of our businesses posted significant growth in Adjusted EBITDA, contributing to a double-digit increase in our Adjusted EPS,” Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a prepared statement accompanying the financials. “At Cable, our customer and financial metrics remained strong, highlighted by 10% growth in Adjusted EBITDA, the highest level of customer retention on record for a third quarter, and the most wireless net additions since the launch of Xfinity Mobile in 2017. Our results at NBCUniversal continue to be driven by the ongoing recovery at our domestic Theme Parks, as well as the success of our linear and streaming Media platforms. At Sky, our UK business maintained its momentum, delivering healthy growth in revenue, EBITDA, and customer relationships.”

“Going forward, I am excited about the opportunity to continue to invest in our global technology platform and other businesses while returning more capital to shareholders,” he continued. “This strategy is reflected in our most recent product launches – XClass TV in the U.S. and Sky Glass in Europe – as well as the $2.7 billion we returned to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividend payments.”

Roberts and other Comcast executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail. We also expect to get an update on Peacock subs then.

Comcast stock (CMCSA) closed Wednesday afternoon at $52.44 per share. The U.S. stock markets will reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.