How Comcast Views the Evolution of Its Cable Networks Business
Comcast’s cable networks
Comcast’s (CMCSA) cable networks include MSNBC, Syfy, Bravo, and other sports networks that together reach around 27 million viewers in the United States (SPY). The company’s cable networks business acquires sports programming rights from third parties and also licenses its original content to other cable and broadcast networks and SVOD (subscription video on demand) services like Hulu and Netflix (NFLX).
Comcast stated at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference late last month that the rising number of entrants in the SVOD and OTT (over-the-top) space has meant that there is more demand for its content, which is also indicative of higher content licensing revenues for the company.
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However, the company also stated that its Cable Networks business is still growing, albeit slowly and in single digits. Comcast further said that the decline in program ratings has been due to the rising competition from content providers in the media industry.
Comcast said that its Telemundo broadcast network has very little cash flow, but it’s quickly grabbing market share from its competitors in the United States. Comcast’s Telemundo network produces and distributes content in Spanish in the US and in international markets.
This network currently holds the Spanish-language broadcast rights in the US to the FIFA Soccer World Cup through 2026 and for certain NFL games through 2022–2023.
Comcast expects that these sports programming rights will further fuel growth for Telemundo. As the above chart indicates, Comcast’s cable networks made up 29% of Comcast’s NBCUniversal total revenues of $8.5 billion in fiscal 4Q16 with revenues of $2.5 billion.