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Comcast quarterly revenue beats but broadband, advertising growth muted

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Oct 27 (Reuters) – Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) third-quarter revenue beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday, thanks to a steady rebound in its theme park and studio business, but the Slow broadband subscriber growth and declining advertising sales continue to weigh on the media business.

Comcast added 14,000 broadband customers in the quarter, up from the hundreds of thousands it gained at the height of the pandemic, due to competition from telecom giants promoting attractive deals on wireless and internet plans for price-conscious Americans.

In a call with investors on Thursday, Comcast executives acknowledged the impact of rising inflation and said they expected media growth to be hurt by the cord cut. pay-TV, lower advertising spend and higher costs associated with broadcasting the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament. .

The media giant also expects its cable networks to be impacted by damage from Hurricane Ian, including the loss of broadband customers.

Comcast’s media unit, NBCUniversal, reported a 35.1% decline in ad sales, compared to the same quarter a year ago, when it aired the Olympics and Super Bowl. It reported 15 million paying subscribers for its Peacock streaming service, up from 13 million in the previous quarter.

The company’s total revenue fell 1.5% to $29.85 billion in the quarter, from estimates of $29.65 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Net loss attributable to Comcast was $4.6 billion, or $1.05 per share, compared to profit of $4.04 billion, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

The net loss was partly due to an $8.6 billion goodwill impairment charge at its UK pay-TV company, Sky.

However, excluding items, Comcast earned 96 cents per share, beating expectations of 90 cents.

Comcast Studios’ earnings tripled to $537 million in the quarter, driven by the success of films such as “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”

Shares rose 8% on Thursday.

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Helen Coster in New York; Editing by Chris Reese, Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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