About NBC Universal, Inc.
Comcast is one of the biggest pay-TV providers in the US with more than 30 million subscribers to its cable systems. Its broadband internet service has nearly 30 million subscribers, video has about 21 million subscribers, and its voice service has 10 more than million customers. On the content side, the company owns NBCUniversal, including the NBC TV network and movie studios Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation. Cable channels CNBC, MSNBC, and the USA Network are also under the Comcast tent. Other Comcast properties include the Universal Studios theme parks and Telemundo, a leading Spanish-language TV network.
Comcast operates three primary businesses: Comcast Cable (Cable Communication), NBCUniversal (Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks), and Sky.
The cable business, accounting for more than half of revenue, offers internet, video, voice, and security and automation services in the US under the Xfinity brand.
NBCUniversal operates four business segments: Cable Networks, around 10% of revenue, which provides entertainment, news and information, and sports content as well as regional sports and news networks; Broadcast Television, nearly 10% of revenue, consists primarily of the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks; Filmed Entertainment, about 5% of revenue, owns Universal Pictures, which makes and distributes movies; and NBCUniversal's Theme Parks, also 5% of revenue, consists primarily of Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida; Hollywood, California; and Osaka, Japan.
Sky (nearly 20% of revenue) consist of operation in Europe providing services including Sky News broadcast network and Sky Sports networks.
Comcast also provides wireless telephone service through its Xfinity Mobile brand. Through its majority-owned subsidiary Comcast Spectacor, the company owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, as well as the team's arena, the Wells Fargo Center.
Comcast, based in Philadelphia, has operations of one kind or another in all 50 states. Its cable communications operations are along the East Coast, in the South, the Midwest, the West Coast, and Pacific Northwest. The company owns and operates about 10 NBC-affiliate TV stations in the some of the top markets in the country. In Europe, Sky operates three of the four largest pay television markets in Western Europe: UK, Italy, and Germany.
Even with the international expansion through the Sky acquisition, Comcast's revenue is concentrated in the US, which supplies around 75% of sales.
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. The company spends about $7.6 billion a year on advertising, marketing, and promotion.
Comcast's revenue had grown at a steady 9% average rate over the past five years as the company had added to its stable of telecom and content through acquisitions.
In 2019, revenue rose 15% to $108.9 billion, up about $14.4 billion from 2018. Growth in their Cable Communications segment driven by increased revenue from residential high-speed internet, business services and wireless, partially offset by decreased revenue from advertising, video and voice.
Net income increased to $13.1 billion in 2019, $1.3 billion more than in 2018. The increase was primarily due to the increase on their revenue but offset with also the increase of cost and expenses.
Comcast held $5.6 billion in cash and equivalents in 2019 compared to $3.9 billion in 2018. Operations generated $25.7 billion in 2019, while investing activities used $14.8 billion and financing activities used $9.2 billion.
Comcast expects its capital expenditures for 2020 will be focused on the continued investment in scalable infrastructure to increase network capacity in its Cable Communications segment; increased investment in line extensions for the expansion of both business services and residential; and the continued deployment of wireless gateways, the company's X1 platform, cloud DVR technology, Sky Q, and international OTT platforms. In addition, they expect to continue to invest in existing and new attractions at their Universal theme parks, including the additional theme park being constructed in Orlando, Florida. Capital expenditures for subsequent years will depend on numerous factors, including acquisitions, competition, changes in technology, regulatory changes, the timing and rate of deployment of new services, the capacity required for existing services, and the timing of new attractions at their theme parks.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2019 Comcast acquired Deep Blue Communications, which engineers, installs, and manages commercial WiFi networks. Comcast intends to combine its networks with Deep Blue's intelligent, managed WiFi and create greater efficiency for businesses. Terms were not disclosed.
In 2019 Comcast bought BluVector, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide cybersecurity protection to companies and government agencies. Verizon and BluVector planned to build on BluVector's existing business and to develop new cybersecurity technologies. Terms were not disclosed.
In 1963 Ralph Roberts, Daniel Aaron, and Julian Brodsky bought American Cable Systems in Tupelo, Mississippi. The company soon expanded throughout the state. In 1969 the company got a new name: Comcast, combining "communications" and "broadcast." Two years later Comcast acquired franchises in western Pennsylvania, and when it went public in 1972, it moved to Philadelphia.
Comcast bought up local operations nationwide through the early 1980s and gained its first foreign cable franchise in 1983 in London (it sold its affiliate there to NTL -- now Virgin Media-- in 1998). It took a 26% stake in the large Group W Cable in 1986. Roberts also lent financial support that year to a fledgling home-shopping channel called QVC-- for "quality, value, and convenience."
A big step into telecommunications came in 1988 when Comcast bought American Cellular Network, with Delaware and New Jersey franchises. Two years later Roberts' son Brian -- who had trained as a cable installer during a summer away from college -- became Comcast's president.
In 1992 Comcast bought Metromedia's Philadelphia-area cellular operations and began investing in fiber-optic and wireless phone companies. By then the company was a major QVC shareholder. With an eye toward Comcast's programming needs, Brian persuaded FOX network head Barry Diller to become QVC's chairman. But when Diller tried to use QVC to take over CBS, Comcast bought control of QVC in 1994 to quash the bid, which went against cross-ownership bans. To pay for QVC, Comcast had to sell its 20% stake in cable firm Heritage Communications in 1995. Diller left the company to oversee for a time InterActiveCorp, parent of QVC's archrival HSN). Also in 1995 Comcast funded former Disney executive Richard Frank to launch the C3 (Comcast Content and Communication) programming company.
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