Bankers, analysts and executives have speculated on what Comcast will do to boost its media business. NBCUniversal is one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, owner of the NBC broadcast network, as well as Universal’s movie studio and theme parks. It has a suite of cable channels, such as Bravo and E!, but has been one of the slowest major media companies to grow its streaming operations.
Peacock, with 13 million subscribers, saw no growth in the last quarter. He lost nearly $500 million. To make matters worse, Comcast, the largest US cable television provider, also reported no new customers for its Internet access business.
Comcast explored a merger with video game maker Electronic Arts Inc. and discussed other potential targets.
Every major media company is looking to cut costs due to pressure from Wall Street. Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. is laying off thousands of workers and said it will find $3 billion in cost cuts after its big merger, while Netflix Inc. has slowed growth in its investment in original programming.
Investors used to reward media companies for spending billions on unprofitable but growing streaming services. Netflix’s recent troubles, exacerbated by fears of an impending recession, have prompted investors to focus more on profit than growth.
Companies can’t cut streaming, their fastest growing segment and widely seen as the future of the entertainment industry. They must now find ways to cut the budgets of their traditional television networks without making them unappealing to viewers. Comcast’s television networks still generate billions of dollars in profits a year.