Comcast Profits Fall 9 Percent on NBCU Deal Costs

Deal “on track,” but closing has already cost cable company $88 million this year

Comcast said on Wednesday that costs related to its yet-to-be-closed $30 billion merger with NBC Universal caused a slide in its second quarter profit.

The cable powerhouse said navigating the NBCU deal closing has already cost the company $88 million this year — and $59 million in the second quarter alone.

That charge caused the Comcast’s second quarter profits to decline 8.6 percent, to $884 million (or 31 cents per share) compared to $967 million (or 33 cents a share) last year. Excluding the costs related to NBCU, Comcast’s year-over-year profits would have been flat.

Comcast said it still expects to gain regulatory approval for its acquisition of NBCU by the end of the year.

NBCU costs aside, there were some bright spots. Comcast managed to increase the number of digital cable customers by nearly 10 percent, adding 394,000 during the quarter for a total of 19.2 million.

The new digital subscribers helped offset the expected summer loss in basic cable subscribers – or 265,000. Video revenue ticked up about 1 percent (to $4.9 billion) and the average video revenue per customer increased to $127.7, up about 8 percent.

And Comcast’s broadband subscribers rose 7.3 percent to 16.4 million.