In the quarter before its merger with NBC Universal (NSDQ: CMCSA) was complete, Comcast exceeded analysts expectations and also appeared to beat back talk of “cord-cutting,” at least for now. Advertising revenue was also up nicely in Q4, a reflection of the recovery that had been gathering steam all last year.
As many MSOs found this year, subscribers mysteriously kept disappearing. Much of the blame was put on the economy and users canceling once their introductory deals expired. Cable companies did talk of cord-cutting — people canceling their basic TV packages and just watching video through broadband streams — but only to dismiss the phenomenon.
Comcast still lost 135,000 subs in Q4, but said that it had added more by the end of the year, allowing it to further bury talk of cord-cutting.
By the end of the year, the number of Comcast Video, High-Speed Internet and Voice customers was 48.4 million, an increase of 2.7 percent over 2009. In Q4, the segment’s numbers grew by 414,000.
Cord-cutting or not, revenue from the Cable segment increased 6.9 percent to $9.2 billion
As the company works through the integration process with NBCU, Comcast’s own programming revenue was up 13.6 percent to $419 million. Overall, Comcast’s advertising revenue gained 29 percent in Q4.