Comcast is the biggest pay-TV provider in the US with about 27.7 million video subscribers for its core cable division. The company downloads the bulk of its revenue from its cable services offered in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Its broadband Internet service has about 23 million subscribers and its XFINITY computer telephony service has about 11.5 million customers. Comcast also owns NBCUniversal, which includes the NBC TV network, movie maker Universal Studios, and the Universal theme parks. In 2015 Comcast withdrew its $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable as regulators voiced opposition. Film fact: Three of the company's 2015 movies grossed more than $1 billion each.
Comcast's operation center around entertainment at home, at movie theaters, and at theme parks. Its five revenue-generating segments reflect that breakdown: Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment, and Theme Parks. Besides the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, Comcast has has cable programming interests, such as MSNBC, E!, G4, and The Golf Channel, and sells time to advertisers. Its NBCSN cable sports network drove revenue higher in 2015 by gaining rights to televise some NASCAR races.
The cable service segment generated 61% of revenue. The cable networks accounted for 13%, followed by broadcast TV with 11%, filmed entertainment, 10%, and theme parks, 4%.
Comcast hasn't forgotten its hometown roots in Philadelphia. Through its majority-owned subsidiary Comcast Spectacor, the company owns Philadelphia's professional sports teams, the 76ers and the Flyers, as well as the city's Wells Fargo Center arena. Comcast Spectacor also manages other venues used for sporting events and music concerts in Philadelphia, as well as related service businesses including Ovations Food Services and facilities management provider Global Spectrum. Those operations generate some $766 million in revenue.
Comcast operates throughout the US.
Sales and Marketing
Comcast offers its services directly to residential and business customers through call centers, door-to-door selling, direct mail advertising, television advertising, Internet advertising, local media advertising, telemarketing, and retail outlets.
Comcast spent about $5.9 billion on advertising, marketing, and promotion expenses in 2015.
Revenue increased 8% to almost $74.5 billion in 2015 from about $69 billion in 2014. Cable revenue increased 6% customers subscribing to higher priced packages. Three big movie hits --
, each of which grossed $1 billion around the world -- helped boost movie revenue 46% higher in 2015 from 2014. Theme Park revenue rose 27% in 2015 as the Harry Potter, Furious 7, and Simpsons attracted visitors.
Net income was down 2.6% to $8.16 billion in 2015 from 2014. Comcast had higher programming and production cost in 2015.
Cash flow from operations in 2015 rose to about $18.8 billion compared to $17 billion in 2014 due to higher net income and a change in the working capital.
Comcast arrested the slippage of subscribers -- somewhat -- in 2015. It lost just 36,000 TV customers during the year, the smallest decline since 2007. The company and other cable providers have lost customers -- called cord cutters -- who prefer to get their entertainment from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and over-the-air broadcasts. Comcast has bundled multiple services and offered slimmed-down cable deals (fewer, more selective channels) to attract and retain customers. The company also has improved its customer service, reducing wait times, increased on-time arrivals, and added representatives to its customer call centers.
Another factor has been Comcast's X1 platform, a set-top box that offers live video, on-demand video, and digital video recording. It stores customers' recordings in the cloud, which add to the amount they can record. The company reported that some 7 million customers use the X1 and it adds thousands more per day. Besides added revenue from the X1 services, Comcast looks for additional advertising revenue by using data gained from viewer habits to customize ad targeting.
Comcast is rolling a high-speed modems based on DOCSIS 3.1 technology. The modems can deliver download speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. The company started in Atlanta and Nashville with other markets to follow in 2016.
The company might venture into mobile telephone service. It has indicated it will participate in an FCC auction of airwaves to be conducted in 2016.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Comcast acquired 51% of Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 billion in 2015. The deal gives Comcast control of the Universal theme park in Osaka, Japan.