Comcast loses 95,000 video subscribers but rides broadband growth to higher Q3 cable revenues

Comcast gave back another 95,000 residential video subscribers during the third quarter but, thanks in part to broadband growth, still grew revenues for its cable segment.

The video subscriber losses were an improvement over the same quarter one year ago when the company lost 134,000 video subscribers. This quarter’s video losses were coupled with a slight decrease in video revenues, down 2.9% to about $5.6 billion.

That decline was offset by an increase in internet service revenues, up 9.6% to about $4.3 billion, which helped overall cable communications revenues climb 3.4% to nearly $13.8 billion. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment grew 7.6% to $5.6 billion, which CEO Brian Roberts said was the fastest growth in six years.

Comcast also attributed growth in the cable segment to growth in business services and advertising. The company said the decrease in video revenues was mostly due to fewer video subscribers, but said comparisons were affected by a pay-per-view boxing event in the year-ago quarter.

In all, Comcast said its total customer relationships increased by 288,000 to 30.1 million.

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Comcast’s NBCUniversal revenue rose 8.1% to $8.6 billion but adjusted EBITDA fell 8.5% to $2.1 billion. All divisions within the segment grew revenues except for Theme Parks.

NBCU’s cable networks revenue rose 10.8% to $2.9 billion and adjusted EBITDA rose 6.9% to $968 million. The growth was driven by distribution revenues increasing 9.5% and content licensing and other revenues jumping a whopping 36.1%.

NBCU’s broadcast television revenue rose 15.4% to $2.5 billion and adjusted EBITDA rose 1.8% to $321 million. The company attributed growth to increased advertising thanks to Telemundo’s 2018 World Cup broadcast and said it was partially offset by ratings declines.

Overall, Comcast’s consolidated revenues grew 5% to $22.1 billion during the third quarter, while adjusted EBITDA grew 2.5% and net income grew 9.3%.