Comcast Sees Slowing Demand in Q2 for Broadband in Tougher Economy

Communications giant Comcast said demand for two of its most important services — broadband and the NBCU streaming-video site Peacock — slowed in the second quarter, as the prospect of a deteriorating economy ate into consumers’ ability to purchase goods and services that may not be core to their daily lives and after the streaming hub offered a more robust slate of content, including the Super Bowl and the Olympics, in the first quarter.

The Philadelphia owner of NBCUniversal and the giant Comcast cable business said its high-speed internet customers in the quarter  — a key metric –was basically the same as in the previous period., 32.1 million compared with 31.3 million. Subscriptions to Peacock, meanwhile, were “flat” at 13 million for the period, the company said. even as the costs to develop content for the service increased. Overall revenue rose 5.1% to $30.01 billion compared with $28.5 billion in the year-earlier period, as NBCU’s studios and theme parks lent momentum to the company’s overall business.

“In Cable, we achieved our highest adjusted EBITDA margin on record even amid a unique and evolving macroeconomic environment that is temporarily putting pressure on the volume of our new customer connects,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement.

Net income attributable to Comcast fell to $3.4 billion, or 76 cents per share, compared with $3.74 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue from Comcast’s cable operations — the company’s largest —  rose 3.7% to $16.6 billion. Revenue at NBCUniversal rose 18.7% to $9.45 billion.

Comcast said NBCU’s results included higher operating expenses, largely due to higher costs at Peacock that resulted in a loss of $467 million in cash flow. compared with a cash-flow loss of $365 million in the year-earlier period.  Revenue from NBCU’s studios surged 33% to $3 billion thanks to new movie releases like “Jurassic World: Dominion.” Revenue at NBCU’s theme parks hiked 64.8% to $1.8 billion, thanks to higher attendance and increased spending by customers.

Revenue at the European satellite service Sky fell 13.8% to $4.5 billion largely the result of declines in direct-to-consumer revenue, content revenue, and advertising revenue.