Comcast Corp’s first-quarter revenue beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday, as the media giant benefited from its Super Bowl and Beijing Olympics broadcasts, as well as a rebound in park attendance in theme.
Total revenue rose 14% to $31.01 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $30.53 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Comcast, the largest US cable operator, gained 262,000 broadband customers in the quarter, compared to 229,000 according to Factset’s estimate.
Broadband subscriber growth fell 43.1% from a year ago, the third straight quarter of subscriber declines after record growth during the pandemic. The company attributed the slowdown, in part, to fewer people changing homes.
Revenue for Comcast’s NBCUniversal media unit rose 36.3% to $6.87 billion, including $1.48 billion in revenue from the broadcast of the Super Bowl and the Beijing Olympics.
NBCU ad sales jumped 59.2%, benefiting from sporting events as well as the growth of streaming service Peacock. Last quarter, the company said the “vast majority” of paying Peacock subscribers prefer watching the ad-supported version over the more expensive ad-free product.
NBC’s Super Bowl broadcast drew an average television audience of about 101 million viewers, about 10% more than the 2021 championship, according to Nielsen data. The ads sold for a record $6.5 million per 30-second ad, an 18% increase over the 2021 game ads.
Still, the Beijing Winter Olympics drew the smallest prime-time audience since NBCUniversal began broadcasting the games, according to figures released by the network, amid a period of changing viewing habits. .
Net income attributable to Comcast rose to $3.55 billion, or 78 cents per share, from $3.33 billion, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.