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NBCU revenue down but cable grows

NBCUniversal saw its second quarter revenue drop 14.2% – a fall largely driven by dips at US broadcast network NBC owing to a 2012 Olympic Games bump.

Brian RobertsNBCU’s results for the three months to September 30 showed its broadcast television segment had fallen 41.1% year-on-year from US$2.79 billion to US$1.64 billion.

NBCU parent Comcast attributed this to last year’s summer Olympic Games, higher political advertising and an early start to the fall season. It claimed excluding the Olympics broadcast revenue was up 2.6%, and revenue across the NBCU unit would have been up 3.9%.

NBC has started the 2013 fall season strongly, with The Blacklist and The Voice scoring big ratings.

Growth in NBCU’s cable networks segment, which includes USA Network, Bravo, E! Entertainment and Oxygen; and its film and theme park unit helped to partially offset to drop in broadcasting coin. Overall, NBCU delivered US$5.85 billion in revenue, down in 2012’s US$6.82 billion, and operating cash flow of US$1.3 billion, up 9.6% year-on-year.

NBCU parent company Comcast made third quarter revenue of US$16.2 billion and operating income of US$3.4 billion.

Earlier this year, Comcast acquired the remaining 49% of shares in NBCU that it didn’t already own from General Electric years ahead of schedule for a cool US$16.7 billion.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts (above) added that NBCU had seen “so much organic growth, and we see so much more organic growth, that we haven’t spent any time at all thinking about adding to the portfolio.”