Saturday, April 17, 2010

NBC Universal profit sinks

NBC Universal released its profit information for the first quarter, and as to be expected, it is not good.

Will NBC ever be able to right the ship?
According to a Friday article in Broadcasting & Cable, the first quarter 2010 profit fell a staggering 49 percent from the same time in 2009. 49 percent! NBCU profit dipped all the way to $199 million, whereas it pushed near $400 million for the same quarter last year.

What's even more insane is that the article notes that the Olympic coverage lost NBCU "only" $223 million, compared to the $250 million they expected to lose.

Hold on. In what world -- no matter the terrible economic conditions -- is a loss of $233 million on a three week, MAJOR event a good thing? I know that articles from back January noted how NBCU would lose money on the Games because of rising licensing fees and declining ad revenues, but wow. The fact that NBCU lost that much AND is mostly okay with it just proves how much of a mess this corporation is in.

But on the flip side, cable revenues within the corporation are on the rise. Revenues -- not profits, so note the higher figures -- were up three percent to $1.2 billion across all the cable networks as a whole.

Thus aside from the general insanity that is being okay with sinking profits, these figures might yet again suggest that the broadcast model of television just does not work. NBC as a network is on the decline right now, which means their profits are going to be lower than even the other broadcast nets, but the discrepancies between NBC profit and the improvements on the cable end are more evidence that having a broadcast network isn't even worth it.

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