Analysts found that Comcast might need to revise its scoring system after Steve Burke, CEO of its NBCUniversal unit, announced Wednesday that the company would “about breakeven” with their 2012 London Olympics Game coverage.
The reported network win was surprising, as the Olympics have “long been a loss leader,” Barclays Capital’s James Ratcliffe told the , according to the New York Post. Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis has since confirmed that purchase-price accounting allowed NBCUniversal to write down the price of the games by about $200 million.
“Through purchase accounting the [Olympic] losses were eliminated,” Angelakis told analysts. “We will have a negative impact in free cash flow in the third quarter. I just wanted to make sure folks understand a little of those finer details.”
NBC paid $1.2 billion for the rights to broadcast the Olympic games in the U.S., and has claimed it sold more than $1 billion in ads.
Though NBC surpassed the $850 million advertising record set during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Burke had expected ratings to be down, according to the Associated Press, due to the London time difference that has delayed events previously shown live from Beijing. Instead of being down the estimated 20 percent, however, ratings were up 9 percent five days into the event.