What’s Driving the Success of Comcast’s NBCUniversal Businesses?

Samuel Prince - Author

Jan. 30 2019, Updated 7:32 a.m. ET

Comcast’s NBCUniversal business

Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal business segment consists of filmed entertainment, theme parks, broadcast television, and cable networks divisions. The NBCUniversal business segment posted revenues of $9.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up by 7.1% year-over-year. NBCUniversal had adjusted EBITDA of $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, up by 12.3% YoY.

The rise in EBITDA for Comcast’s NBCUniversal was driven by 20% growth in the company’s television businesses including cable networks and broadcast television. When it comes to its television businesses, the company is following a strategy of broadcasting must-see content that includes news, sports, and entertainment.

The popularity of Comcast’s programming has fuelled its decision to launch a free, ad-supported streaming service in the first quarter of 2020, available to pay-TV subscribers including those of other pay-TV companies like Dish Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR).

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Comcast’s Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks businesses

Comcast’s Filmed Entertainment business boosted revenues by 14% YoY to $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, which was mainly driven by the success of its movie The Grinch. However, this segment saw its adjusted EBITDA fell by 23.6% YoY to $179 million as a result of a difficult comparison to last year.

The company continues to extend its Filmed Entertainment slate in 2019 with new movies in the pipeline for its successful franchises including How to Train Your Dragon, Secret Life of Pets, and Fast and Furious. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has also successfully replicated the franchise strategy when it comes to the movies business.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal’s Theme Parks business had revenues of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 3.5% YoY. This business had adjusted EBITDA of $666 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, an increase of 0.7% YoY. Comcast intends to open new attractions at its theme parks in Hollywood and Orlando in 2019 in the United States (XLK). The company will also open phase 1 of its 2,800-room resort in Orlando this year.

The company also intends to open a theme park in Beijing in 2020 and has partnered with Nintendo in Japan to add new attractions to its Universal theme park in Japan.


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