While it has lagged behind other broadcasters in terms of retransmission licensing revenue, NBCUniversal is in catch-up mode.
The conglomerate reported retrans revenue growth of 63.5 percent in the second quarter. And NBCU CEO Steve Burke said the company plans to keep expanding this revenue base.
"We still have some major contracts where retrans is going to take significant step-ups and we're still hundreds of millions of dollars less than some of the other comparable peers," Burke said to investors during Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) second-quarter earnings call this morning. "We think we deserve the same amount for retransmission consent. We have the Olympics, we have the NFL, we have the No. 1 broadcast network in the demo. I think over time that will be a number that continues to grow nicely."
Burke added that NBC has "grown retrans very significantly over the last five years, but we still lag behind the other broadcasters."
Overall, Comcast reported a 70.5 percent revenue spike for broadcast operations to $394 million in the second quarter. NBC is once again poised to finish first in total day ratings among the Big Four broadcasters for the 2015-16 TV season.
Part of Comcast since 2011, NBCU continues to walk a fine strategic line, maximizing its revenue potential while seeking not to promote industry licensing practices that undermine the pay-TV ecosystem.
Of course, not that any of that matters at this point, with retrans licensing fees spiraling upward not matter what NBCU does. SNL Kagan last month once again revised its long-terms retrans revenue growth projections upward, predicting that total retrans fees will reach $10.6 billion by 2020.
- read this Comcast earnings release
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