General Electric reported Q3 revenues down 5% to $35.9 billion, but with earnings per share up 32% to 29 cents. But of greater interest to RBR-TVBR readers is what happened in the NBC Universal segment.
NBCU revenues were essentially flat, down $10 million to $4.07 billion. Segment profit fell 15% to $625 million. But within those numbers were two very different types of business performance – with the cable network business posting double digit growth while broadcast was down.
In fairness, not all of broadcast was down. The O&O TV group, NBC Local Media, posted double digit sales growth. The weak spot was the NBC Network, where revenues declined 2%. NBC also spent heavily to produce and promote its new fall programs, which contributed to the overall decline in profits at NBCU.
Even as GE is waiting to hand over control of NBCU to Comcast and CEO Jeff Zucker is preparing to clean out his office investments are being made in attempts to move the #4 network back up in ratings and revenues. GE noted that ratings are up 4% season to date. “Sunday Night Football” is the #1 show in the key 18-49 demo. And despite the failure of last year’s experiment with moving Jay Leno to primetime, he’s returned to #1 in late night with the “Tonight Show.”