Comcast says Peacock lost nearly $1 billion last quarter

Comcast published its fourth quarter 2022 earnings on Thursday, reporting that the company had managed to exceed analyst projections for the year despite losing broadband and video subscribers and widening losses from its Peacock streaming service.

Peacock — the streaming platform for Comcast-owned NBCUniversal — reported a loss of $978 million during the company’s fourth financial quarter, a sizable jump from the $559 million loss reported in the same quarter last year. Comcast expects Peacock’s total losses to peak at around $3 billion. “We believe 2023 will be peak losses for Peacock and, from there, steadily improve,” said Comcast president Michael Cavanagh during a company earnings call (via CNBC).

Peacock’s annual revenue has almost tripled to $2.1 billion

Comcast also announced that Peacock’s annual revenue had almost tripled to $2.1 billion and that the service had gained 5 million additional paid subscribers during its fourth quarter, surpassing 20 million total subscribers. “It’s very clear we picked the right business model,” said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell. “We made that investment… and made clear from the start we’re going to make a return on that investment. I think we feel better about that now.”

Overall, Comcast reported $8 billion in earnings over its fourth quarter, a decline of almost 5 percent compared with the same period last year. Total revenue for the year came in at $30.55 billion, a smidge higher than the $30.32 billion figure previously estimated by analysts.

The company said it lost 26,000 broadband customers in Q4 because of damage caused by Hurricane Ian after hitting Florida and South Carolina in September but estimates that it would have added 4,000 new customers when excluding the impact of the storm. Comcast also reported a loss of 440,000 video customers during the same quarter.

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Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile now has over 5.3 million wireless customers

Alongside the earnings report, Comcast unveiled plans to bring several of its streaming and cable services under a single UI system later this year. “In 2023, we will launch one global user interface for Sky Glass, X1, Flex, Xumo, and our US and international partners,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.

Many of Comcast’s media services already run off its global technology platform but will also presumably support the same apps and share a similar (if not identical) visual style after migrating to the unified UI. “Every entertainment customer around the world will get the same Emmy Award-winning voice-controlled experience,” said Roberts.

Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

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