Relief in Philadelpia? NBCU profit up 13 percent

July 16, 2010

NBC Universal’s quarterly results — still wrapped into the General Electric numbers — should have some of the folks down in Philadelphia smiling this weekend. The numbers didn’t set the world on fire, but both profit and revenue showed improvement thanks to (what else) the cable division.

Overall, NBCU’s quarterly profit rose 13 percent to $607 million. Revenue climbed 5 percent to $3.75 billion.

Keith Sherin, GE’s finance chief, credited Jeff Zucker with delivering what he called “a strong performance” and said the regulatory review of the sale to Comcast “is progressing as expected.”

A closer look at NBCU’s numbers showed cable revenue rose 7 percent, fueled by USA, Bravo, Oxygen and CNBC, compared to broadcast revenue that was only up by 1 percent (hardly a surprise to Comcast, one would imagine).

“You know, the ratings are down in the summer for all the networks, but we were off to a pretty good start,” Sherin said on a conference call with analysts. “We’ve got the number-one show with ‘America’s Got Talent.’ The development that we have invested in was well received and probably one of the biggest highlights in the quarter was the upfront.”

Oh, and as for Jay Leno — the leading man in a drama that both GE and Comcast would rather forget — Sherin noted his late-night show is once more leading the pack, “so that feels pretty good.”

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