NBCUniversal’s broadcast television revenue rose 5.3% to $2.2 billion during the second quarter as the segment was able to beat back declines in ad revenues with higher distribution and content licensing revenue.
That growth was thanks largely to distribution and other revenue, up a whopping 36.1% during the quarter due to higher retransmission consent fees. Content licensing revenue rose a modest 2.1%, while advertising revenue fell 1.2%, due to audience ratings declines.
But the high single-digit growth for CPMs NBC experienced during Upfronts suggests that ad revenues will see better performance soon.
“We think we had the most successful Upfronts,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts during this morning’s earnings call.
NBCU CEO Steve Burke said that Upfront volume was up about 8%, which didn’t include the Olympics and the Super Bowl.
Overall, the broadcast TV segment saw its adjusted EBITDA increase 5.5% to $416 million.
Over at NBCU’s cable networks segment, revenue rose 5.1% to $2.7 billion during the quarter, again thanks to higher distribution revenues that fought off ad declines. Distribution revenue rose 8.1%, despite a decline in subscribers at NBCU’s cable networks, which include USA Network, E! Network and Bravo. Content licensing and other revenue jumped 10.5%. Although advertising revenue fell slightly by 0.9% due to audience ratings declines, overall adjusted EBITDA for cable rose 11.7% to $1.1 billion during the quarter.
NBCUniversal’s overall revenues increased 17.3% to $8.3 billion in the second quarter of 2017. A big portion of that increase stemmed from growth in filmed entertainment segment revenues, up 59.6% to $2.2 billion.
“Driving these tremendous results were the box office success of 'Fate of the Furious,' continued increases in affiliate and retransmission revenues at our TV businesses,” Roberts said in a statement.
NBCUniversal’s overall EBITDA rose 22.6% to $2.07 billion.