Comcast wants better audience measurement after 5.6% revenue drop at NBCU

With Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) NBCUniversal division experiencing a 5.6 percent revenue decline in the fourth quarter, primarily driven by significant erosion of measurable audience, NBCU chief executive Steve Burke joined the chorus of TV executives urging for innovation of viewership metrics.

Burke told investors Tuesday during Comcast's Q4 earnings report that as much as 70 percent of views for NBC's Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon aren't counted in traditional TV ratings.

Much of the show's viewing is done via social sharing of YouTube video clips, which aren't being monetized, Burke said.

Measuring and monetizing these assets will be crucial, he added, for NBCU to sustain any revenue momentum going forward.

Burke struck an optimistic tone, noting the current audience measurement problems are "not going to last forever … Measurement and monetization are only going to get better."

Despite this improvement, Burke said the robust margins enjoyed by NBCU's cable networks are probably not sustainable amid a backdrop of not only changing viewer habits, but also an ad paradigm that is shifting to digital platforms, as well.

"We're probably going to have to get used to single-digit growth as opposed to double-digit growth," he said.

For more:
- visit this Comcast investor relations page
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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