updated 04:55 pm EST, Fri January 18, 2008
NBC Universal Profit 4Q07
Media giant NBC Universal has had "record performance" in 2007, according to statements by its chief executive Jeff Zucker. Profit for the past year amounted to $923 million on revenue of $2.1 billion and represented a 10 percent jump over the year before. Most of this increase is attributed to success from its cable and film businesses, which include networks such as CNBC and Sci-Fi as well as major movie releases such as The Bourne Ultimatum. This was despite the firm enjoying already increased successes from broadcasts such as the 2006 Olympics, Zucker noted to employees in an e-mail sent to the company.
The senior studio official also commented that this came in spite of a screenwriters' strike that affected roughly nine weeks of 2007. Although the lack of fresh content for some shows triggered a steep drop in the willingness of advertisers to remain onboard, a payout of $500,000 per advertiser kept their ad revenue in place, Zucker said. Careful management of scripts will also let the movie and TV divisions continue significantly into 2008 without damage to the company's bottom line.
The success puts into context NBC Universal's decision to scrap iTunes sales after a pricing dispute between itself and Apple. The former has not published its 2007 TV show sales from the online service but only made $15 million from iTunes over the last year of sales before the dispute became public in October.
NBC Universal has since pinned its hopes for online video through Hulu, its ad-sponsored web streaming service, as well as by switching its downloadable video content to smaller offerings such as SanDisk's Fanfare.