NBCUniversal CEO Says Tokyo Olympics Will Be 'Profitable' Despite 'All This Bad Luck'

Thanks to Peacock

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell says that parent company Comcast expects the Tokyo Olympics to turn a profit for the company, despite the hit the event has taken in linear ratings and overall complications due to the pandemic.

“We’ve had some bad luck,” Shell said during Comcast’s Q2 earnings call Thursday. “But if you look at the product, it’s fantastic. And it’s really impossible– what I would say about Peacock is what we learn in this Olympics we’ll take to Beijing and change the product, change the offering for each Olympics going forward. And we’re really excited about that.”

“There was a drumbeat of negativity, we got moved a year and no spectators,” Shell added. “And that has resulted a little bit in linear ratings being probably less than we expected. But the flip side of that is the digital strength has kind of offset that. So what’s happening with Peacock, that’s directly related to the Olympics. With all this bad luck, we’re going to be profitable on the Olympics, which we’re very happy with and we’re very happy with the product.”

Shell also said it’s “impossible to understate the importance of the Olympics to NBCUniversal,” as “it’s not really financially, it’s more operationally across the company.”

“We have 4,000 people, literally, working on it. [Comcast CEO Brian Roberts] and I were in Tokyo, I came back and saw our team in Connecticut. People, this is their life’s work. We have experts on surfing and volleyball and gymnastics. And it is an operation that would be very difficult to replicate the talent and experience that our team brings to it. And they show it every night at NBC and then of course, the Olympics are the perfect property to show the strength of our platform across not only NBCUniversal, but Comcast and Xfinity and Sky.”

More to come…

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