It would seem NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service is doing quite nicely in the realm of new subscribers, as parent company Comcast posted a new earnings report that included the reveal of signups for the first quarter. Comcast revealed that they had 42 million subscribers during Q1, which was up from 33 million last quarter, and the 42 million was likely bolstered by Peacock's two big gets during that period, The Office and WWE (via Deadline). The domestic streaming rights for The Office officially moved over from Netflix while the service also became home to all of WWE Network's extensive catalog of content, though that also includes all future projects and events.
That includes pay-per-views like WrestleMania, which only helped those new subscribers numbers. As for earnings, Comcast posted revenue of $27.5 billion, which was up 2.5% and was much higher than Wall Street estimates. NBCUniversal suffered from pandemic-related losses in their theme park and theatrical sectors, and Media included $91 million of revenue and a loss of $277 million in regards to Peacock, which was up from the loss of $59 million last year.
The good news is that most of the parks are open once more, so that hit should decrease next quarter, and Comcast saw overall revenue growth by 5.9% to $15.8 billion in the realms of broadband, wireless, business services, and ad revenue. NBCUniversal revenue was down 9% to $7 billion, and operating income fell by 12% to $1.5 billion. That said, studio operating profit rose by 66%, driven by lower operating costs.
CEO Brian Roberts was happy with the overall performance, saying that Comcast was “off to a great start in 2021. Our entire company performed well across the board, highlighted by another strong performance from cable… and increasing momentum at NBCUniversal and Sky.”
Roberts also said that the theme parks broke even except for the pre-opening costs for the Universal Beijing Resort pre-opening costs.
As for Peacock, they continue to push The Office acquisition with exclusive behind-the-scenes content and unaired footage. Meanwhile their WWE catalog will only grown with new documentaries and other projects in addition to their monthly events, with the next one being WrestleMania Backlash. Both should continue to help with new subscribers, though we don't know how many are on the paid tier and how many are on the free tier.