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What Is Comcast’s Outlook on Its Theme Parks Segment?

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

NBCUniversal’s agreement with Warner Bros.

In September 2016, Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal announced an agreement with Time Warner’s (TWX) Warner Bros. This agreement covers television distribution rights in the US for all movies in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise.

As part of this agreement, from 2018, viewers can watch all eight Harry Potter movies on NBCUniversal channels, including USA Network and Syfy. The agreement will also enable Comcast’s NBCUniversal to include “exclusive content and events for the Universal theme parks.”

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In September, Comcast (CMCSA) stated during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Broker Conference that its Theme Parks business has been extremely successful for the company. The company added that it continues to add new attractions at its theme parks, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction.

These new attractions have helped boost attendance at its theme parks. The company noted that the new attractions have also resulted in higher occupancy, around 90% at its hotels in Orlando.

In international markets, the company has been selective about its investment in theme parks. The company plans to continue its investments in its theme parks and to consolidate Universal Studios Japan (EWJ). In 3Q15, Comcast acquired a 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan. The company also plans to open a theme park in Beijing, China (FXI).

Why is Comcast acquiring new franchises like Harry Potter?

Comcast (CMCSA) is aiming to develop new franchises that can be monetized effectively across all its business segments. During June’s Guggenheim Securities TMT Symposium in New York, the company noted that it intends to build a strong consumer products business by acquiring new franchises.

The company added that a little over five years ago, it didn’t have a Consumer Products segment at NBCUniversal. At the time, it had only the Fast & Furious franchise—it currently has eight franchises.

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