By Helen Coster
(Reuters) – Comcast Corp on Thursday reported better-than-expected third-quarter revenue, as strong sign-ups for broadband offset pandemic-related weakness in its theme park and filmed entertainment businesses.
The media giant gained 633,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of 534,000 net additions, according to research firm FactSet.
Comcast has taken a financial hit from the pandemic, which has wiped out movie ticket sales and hurt television advertising. But coronavirus restrictions have also given a big lift to services – like broadband and streaming video – that are in high demand due to people working from and staying at home.
The company’s NBCUniversal segment, which includes NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures, reported revenue of $6.72 billion, down 18.9% from a year earlier. Revenue at the filmed entertainment unit fell 25% from a year earlier due to shuttered movie theaters. Theme park revenue plummeted 80.9%.
Comcast said it had 22 million signups to its Peacock streaming service, launched nationwide on July 15.
Broadcast TV advertising revenue was down 11.5% and ad revenue at Comcast’s cable networks fell 2.1%.
Comcast lost 273,000 video customers in the quarter, fewer than the 466,000 loss estimated by FactSet and fewer than the 477,000 video customers it lost in the second quarter.
The company reported adjusted earnings per share of 65 cents, down 17.7% from the same period a year ago.
Comcast reported third-quarter revenue of $25.53 billion, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $24.74 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Sam Holmes.