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Comcast Q3 2020 earnings: Peacock sign-ups surge while traditional cable subscribers fall

Streaming is in, while cord-cutting continues to accelerate.

Comcast Q3 2020 earnings: Peacock sign-ups surge while traditional cable subscribers fall
[Photo: michaelquirk/iStock]
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Comcast has released its third-quarter earnings for 2020, and the company boasted a few historic highs. First, Q3 saw the best quarterly results on record for total high-speed internet (broadband) customer net additions, which hit 633,000. Second, the company announced its Peacock streaming service now has 22 million sign-ups. That’s up 12 million from when Comcast last reported sign-ups in July.

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Those additional Peacock sign-ups are representative of the larger trend in more households embracing streaming services, especially in the COVID-19 era. However, that embracement of streaming services may be a reason why “total video” (i.e., cable television) customer net losses were 273,000 for the quarter. Cord-cutting is continuing.

Overall, Comcast’s Q3 was a good one, in that the company beat most analyst estimates. Here are the key results:

  • Adjusted earnings-per-share for Q3: $0.65
  • Revenue for Q3: $25.5 billion
  • Adjusted net income for Q3: $3.0 billion

“We are nearly eight months into this pandemic—and despite many harsh realities, I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of how our team has worked together across the company to find safe and creative solutions to successfully operate in this environment,” Brian L. Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast, said. “We are executing at the highest level; and perhaps, most importantly, accelerating innovation, which will drive long-term future growth.

“This third quarter, we delivered the best broadband results in our company’s history. Driven by our industry-leading platform and strategic focus on broadband, aggregation, and streaming, we added a record 633,000 high-speed internet customers and 556,000 total net new customer relationships. At the same time, we’re growing our entertainment platforms with the addition of Flex, which has a significant positive impact on broadband churn and customer lifetime value. Our integrated strategy is also driving results in streaming with nearly 22 million sign-ups for Peacock to date, and we are exceeding our expectations on all engagement metrics in only a few months.”