Advanced Television

Sky sheds 200,000 subs in 2021

January 28, 2022

Comcast, owner of Sky and NBCUniversal, has reported Q4 revenue increased 9.5 per cent to $30.3 billion (€27.1bn), exceeding expectations.

Sky’s total subscriber numbers throughout the UK, Germany and Italy fell by 198,000 in 2021, despite an increase of 61,000 in Q4 – most of which were attributed to streaming.

Sky’s revenue dropped by 2.4 per cent to $5.07 billion in Q4, largely through a fall in content revenue as well as a drop in direct-to-consumer revenue.

NBCUniversal revenue was $9.3 billion, up 25.6 per cent on Q4 2020, and studio sales were up just over 36 per cent.

NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, ended 2021 with 24.5 million monthly active accounts in the US. As of July, the company said it had 54 million sign-ups for the platform.

During an analysts call, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts expressed confidence in Peacock’s ad-supported plus premium tier business model and said engagement with the platform proved valuable to advertisers. Within the 24.5 million monthly active accounts are more than 9 million paid subscribers, approaching $10 in paid average revenue per user including advertising, Roberts said.

Roberts added the the company would continue to grow investments in Peacock and pointed out that some of its titles were still on other streaming platforms through the end of the year due to licensing agreements. He said that there would be more originals added to the platforms, and that most of the best content was “still to come.”

Revenue at Comcast’s theme parks rose to $1.9 billion, up 191 per cent, as the sector continues to recover from the pandemic.

“Comcast’s strong operating and financial performance in 2021 was underscored by our highest full-year revenue, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EPS, and free cash flow on record. We continue to execute extraordinarily well, strengthening our leadership position in connectivity, aggregation, and streaming, while working to have a lasting impact on our communities through our commitment to DE&I and digital equity. Looking ahead, we remain focused on our many exciting organic growth opportunities across all of our businesses. Our top priority is increasing the capacity of our network in the US and further improving our world-class broadband experience. We are producing more of the premium content that our viewers love and continue to provide them with multiple ways to access it, including on Peacock while ramping construction of Epic Universe and welcoming even more guests to our Theme Parks. And, significantly, we are expanding the reach of our proprietary global technology platform and addressable customer base, starting with Sky Glass and XClass TV. Our confidence in the future is reflected in today’s announcement that we are increasing the dividend for the 14th consecutive year,” commented Roberts.

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