NBCUniversal’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 3.9% to $8.8 billion with adjusted EBITDA climbing 6.4% to $1.9 billion while the broadcast television segment saw a full-year decline.
Full-year broadcast television revenue dropped 5.9% to $9.5 billion due in part to a decline in advertising revenue despite higher distribution and other content licensing revenue. Adjusted EBITDA fell 5% to $1.3 billion annually.
Despite the full-year fallout, broadcast revenues increased 4.1% to $3 billion in the fourth quarter thanks to increased distribution and other content licensing revenue that rose 44.7% due to higher retransmission consent fees.
Content licensing revenue increased 19% but advertising revenue decreased 6.5% as ratings declined. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter fell 26.3% to $194 million as programming and production costs rose.
But with a number of high-profile live sports events on the horizon for NBC, CEO Brian Roberts sounded optimistic.
“We are excited to have the Super Bowl on NBC, followed by the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang. The Olympics highlight our strengths and capabilities across Comcast NBCUniversal, as we combine the storytelling of NBC with Comcast technology to create a truly spectacular viewing experience. Overall, we feel great about our company and our positioning as we head into the year,” said Roberts in a statement.
While NBC’s broadcast networks endured a slightly down year, the company’s cable networks segment saw its quarterly revenue jump 7.5% to $2.7 billion due to higher distribution, content licensing and other advertising revenue. Contractual rate increases and contract renewals helped fight off the effects of declining subscribers at NBCU’s cable networks while advertising revenue rose just 2.3% thanks to higher rates helping offset ratings declines.
NBCUniversal’s full-year revenue rose 4.4% to $33 billion.