NBC Universal’s Peacock streaming service hit 33 million signups in the fourth quarter, parent company Comcast reported Thursday, an addition of 11 million signups from the third quarter. While the company’s overall revenues beat Wall Street’s expectations, Comcast continued to see the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its filmed entertainment and theme park divisions.
It’s still early to tell whether having The Office on Peacock will deliver a surge of new subscribers, since it only became exclusive as of January 1st. Peacock launched in July and is already on par with other, newer streamers like HBO Max, which had almost 40 million subscribers as of the most recent quarter and launched around the same time as Peacock. Disney Plus, which is about a year old, has 86 million subscribers. Since Peacock has a free tier, however, there’s no way to tell how many of the 33 million signups are paying subscribers or will be converted to paid subscribers.
Comcast posted revenue of $27.71 billion for the quarter, a 2.4 percent decline year over year, and net income of $3.3 billion, a 7 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. Its cable networks had revenue of $2.7 billion, down about 6.4 percent.
The company added 538,000 broadband subscribers in the fourth quarter, up from 442,000 a year ago, and cable revenues rose 6 percent, to $15.7 billion. It lost 248,000 video subscribers in the quarter.
Revenue for its filmed entertainment division decreased by about 8 percent to $1.4 billion. Comcast said revenue for its theme parks division fell 63 percent from the year-ago quarter to $579 million. Its Orlando and Osaka, Japan theme parks, however, reached breakeven for the quarter, according to the company.
(Disclosure: Comcast and NBCUniversal are investors in Vox Media, parent company of The Verge.)
“With the vaccines rolling out throughout the world, we are optimistic that the parts of our business that had been most impacted will soon be back on a path towards growth,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.