NBC’s broadcast television revenue rose 5.9% to $2.2 billion during the first quarter.
The broadcaster attributed the increase to higher distribution and content licensing revenue. Distribution and other revenue increased a whopping 33.4% thanks to to higher retransmission consent fees.
Meanwhile, content licensing revenue increased 2.6% mostly because of the timing around licensing agreements. Advertising revenue stayed mostly flat, up only 0.3% since higher rates were offset by audience ratings declines and lower volume.
In all, NBC’s broadcast segment hauled in an adjusted EBITDA around $322 million, up 13.4% year-over-year. The profits reflected higher revenue that was offset by an increase in programming and production costs.
“2017 is off to the fastest start in five years. We are reporting outstanding growth at cable and particularly NBCUniversal, which delivered 14.7% revenue growth and 24.4% Adjusted EBITDA growth. These impressive results were fueled by exceptionally strong film performance, increased affiliate and retransmission revenues at our TV businesses,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement.
NBC’s cable networks revenue rose 7.6% to $2.6 billion as increases in distribution and licensing were enough to prop up sagging ad revenues. Distribution revenue increased 8.6%, content licensing and other revenue increased 54%, and advertising revenue fell 2.9% because of ratings declines.
Much of NBCUniversal’s quarterly success came because of the filmed entertainment segment with revenues up 43.2% to $2 billion in the first quarter. Other revenue and content licensing revenue increased 35.9% and 12.1%, respectively, now that NBC is including its recently acquired DreamWorks entertainment in the segment results.
Overall, revenue for NBCUniversal reached $7.9 billion in the first quarter and adjusted EBITDA reached $2 billion.