Advanced Television

Bank: NBCU, Sky under pressure this quarter

October 2, 2019

A report from Deutsche Bank on broadcasting giant Comcast’s prospects (its results are due on October 24th) suggests that its NBCU and Sky segments are going to see pressure this quarter.

The bank says that these pressures will come from a combination of factors, including: a challenging ratings environment in the US, macro-economic pressures in the UK, declines in US pay-TV subscribers, Universal’s film slate performance, slower theme parks growth, tougher comps in certain areas, and FX headwinds for Sky.

Some of these issues are temporary (film slate, macro-economic pressures, theme parks), while others are part of more secular themes (pay-TV subscriber declines and systemic ratings pressures).

The bank says that Comcast’s broadband cable connections are expected to grow (by a net 365,000) and supported by recent management comments. However, Video connections could fall by some 225,000 and driven by extra competition, pay-TV declines and Comcast’s self-imposed rules on unprofitable video subs.

“While we think NBCU is seeing increased headwinds in 2H19, we remain positive on Comcast’s outlook over the next 12 months given its disproportionate exposure to Cable and easier comps for NBCU in 2020 (including the return of the Summer Olympics, a strong animation slate, and a delayed benefit to the Parks from Jurassic World),” says Deutsche Bank

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