NBCUniversal posted mixed results for the second quarter period. On the bright side, the company’s film division earned $913M, an increase of 66% compared to Q2 2022. These results were powered by a $1.3 billion gross during the quarter for THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE, which opened at the very beginning of the period on April 5th. The action sequel FAST X came in as the studio’s second highest-grossing film of Q2, opening in mid-May.
NBCUniversal also posted solid results from its theme park division, which pulled $2.2 billion in revenue with an adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) of $833 million.
Results from advertising and streaming were less optimistic. Advertising across all its media divisions dropped by 4.9%, while modest increases in the number of Peacock subscribers kept overall revenues flat. The company expects the advertising demand to remain “challenged” in the third quarter.
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service increased its active subscribers to 24 million, up from 22 million at the end of Q1 and 13 million one year ago. Revenue from streaming has also increased to $820 million, a commendable increase of 85% from one year ago.
However, Peacock is still hemorrhaging money, reporting a loss of $651 million during the second quarter alone. While this represents an improvement from the $704 million that it lost in Q1, it is still nearly 50% higher than the $444 million it lost on streaming in Q2 2022. The growth in losses is due to increased spending on content to attract more subscribers to the service.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts framed this quarterly report in the most positive light, touting the successes of the “best quarterly Adjusted EBITDA ever at Theme Parks” and “the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office revenue.” However, the fundamental question remains whether Peacock can continue to lose over $1 billion annually while it maintains a relatively small subscriber base compared to other major streaming platforms. Hollywood’s labor strikes also pose a threat, which Roberts conceded would become “increasingly harmful” the longer it drags out.