Comcast’s streaming service, Peacock, will lose $2.8 billion this year, with the only consolation being that it reached 30 million paying subscribers.
The cable giant in October said it expected to lose that amount, and Comcast President Mike Cavanagh on Monday confirmed that total during a UBS investor conference. He also reiterated the company’s belief that 2023 represents a “peak” year in losses, with things expected to improve in 2024.
That total, surprisingly, is good news considering Comcast expected Peacock to lose $3 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for the year. Between the narrower losses and the subscriber growth, up 2 million from when it disclosed its third-quarter results in October, and the service has a bit of momentum going into next year.
Peacock represents Comcast’s biggest bet on streaming, especially now that Walt Disney is buying out its 33% stake in Hulu.
“We disclose what we ‘lose’ in Peacock for clarity, and it’s going to peak this year at $2.8 billion of losses,” Cavanagh said, as reported by Variety. “But don’t forget the counter narrative of, what would it all look like if we weren’t trying at Peacock? You’d be asking a different set of questions, which is where are the linear businesses going if you’re not trying to figure out a future for the powerful platforms you have?”
Variety noted that Cavanagh also said the bar is high for M&A opportunities, suggesting Comcast will look to grow its own businesses rather than make any acquisitions.