Even if the U.S.A. isn’t the big winner at the Rio Olympics, USA Network’s parent company will be. NBCUniversal’s president and CEO Steve Burke is already counting the gold he’ll draw in August.
“We’re looking, I think, at a very profitable Olympics,” Burke told media analysts and reporters tuning in to Comcast’s second-quarter 2016 conference call this morning. “We made $120 million — or thereabouts — in London, and we are going to make a lot more than that in Rio.”
NBCU hit its ad sales goal three weeks before the scheduled opening ceremony — a first, Burke said. Ordinarily it takes almost until the actual kickoff event to close out that benchmark. Oh, and this time around, that budget was 20 percent higher than London, he added. Podium spot secured.
Burke also used the webcast to update those in attendance on his company’s China plans. NBCUniversal aimed to opening a Beijing theme park in 2020, and that appears to still be on track.
While not all documents are officially signed, Burke & Co. have had what he called “countless discussions” on the matter. They’re already in the schematic-drawing phase, and have all the attractions laid out.
“We’re really in production mode,” Burke qualified this point in the lengthy process.
Finally, we can close the door on NBC’s lengthy TV upfronts negotiations. (Again, finally.) Burke said broadcast has seen its volume grow 10 percent year over year during the advertising slot selloff, with the overall NBCU portfolio clocking in at 5 percent growth from 2015.
“We could have sold more if we wanted to,” he cautioned, saying that NBCUniversal purposely kept about 20-25 percent of volume available for what it believes will be a strong scatter market.
Earlier, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said his TV channel’s CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) hikes hit 12.5 percent this time around.
At 7 a.m. ET, Comcast reported its Q2 2016 financial performance. Box office was way down, dropping a whopping 79 percent from last year’s much-stronger three-month period. The 2015 comp enjoyed big “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7” ticket sales.
TV, Theme Parks and cable subscribers all fared far better than the big-screen segment, and the umbrella corporation bested Wall Street overall forecasts at both its top and bottom lines.
Read all about Comcast’s Q2 earnings here.