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Comcast has posted its best year for traditional TV services in nearly a decade, even though it continues to shed TV subscribers.
As the number of traditional TV customers declines across the industry, Comcast is stemming its losses by enticing them with new TV-Internet packages, while keeping TV customers around for longer with the help of an enhanced cable box. The company also says recent investments in customer service, have helped.
Comcast it added 89,000 TV customers in the last three months of 2015, the best fourth quarter in eight years. For the full year, Comcast lost 36,000 TV customers, the smallest drop since 2007. The last year it added video customers was in 2006.
As for Comcast’s NBCUniversal business, TV ad revenue fell 2 per cent to $9.18 billion for the year. For the quarter, ad revenue was largely unchanged at $854 million at cable channels like Bravo, CNBC and USA and rose 7 per cent to $1.78 billion for NBC and Telemundo.
Company-wide profit rose more than 2 per cent to $1.97 billion, or 79 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. Adjusted for one-time costs, per-share earnings came to 81 cents. Revenue rose 8.5 percent to $19.2 billion.
Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO said, ” At Comcast Cable, our focus on delivering the most innovative products and improving the customer experience led to fantastic operating metrics, including our best video customer results in nine years, and our best high-speed Internet customer results in eight years. NBCUniversal had a remarkable year, with record-breaking results at both Theme Parks and Film, and continued success at NBC, which was number one in primetime for the second consecutive season. As we enter 2016, the momentum we see across our portfolio is truly exciting. We are executing at the highest level, investing prudently, and energized and focused on driving growth and shareholder value. Underscoring our confidence in our company, we are increasing our dividend by 10 per cent to $1.10 per share and we also plan to repurchase $5 billion of our stock this year.”