While Comcast lost almost two million traditional cable television customers in the United States in 2022, it is building out better broadband, which is a more profitable business. There are now over 20 million subscribers to the Peacock online video service, which is losing billions of dollars as Comcast invests for the future. Comcast is aiming to deliver a single user interface across its online television services, including Sky Glass, providing global economies of scale.
Comcast reported revenues of $121 billion for 2022 and returned $17.7 billion to shareholders including $4.7 billion in dividends but free cash flow was down 26% at $12.65 billion.
Peacock subscribers more than doubled during the year, gaining 5 million in the fourth quarter to pass 20 million, and revenue reached $2.1 billion, although losses amounted to $2.5 billion and are expected to rise to $3 billion in 2023 when costs are expected to peak.
Comcast lost 1.94 million residential cable television customers in 2022, ending the year with 15.55 million out of 32.15 million broadband customers. Cable video still delivered $21.31 billion in revenue but that was less than the $24.47 billion produced by providing broadband connectivity, while programming cost $13.88 billion.
The cable plant is evolving to 10 gigabit capacity using DOCSIS 4.0, delivering multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds, rolling out from the end of 2023. Almost a third of Comcast broadband subscribers are on Gigabit Plus products. The company aims to extend its network to pass another million homes in the United States over the year.
In 2023 there will be a single global interface and technology platform for Sky Glass, Xfinity, X1, Flex, Xumo and partners in the United States and around the world, bringing operational efficiencies and economies of scale.
Sky Glass claims to be the top-selling ultra-high-definition television in the United Kingdom. Sky is the fastest-growing mobile provider, with 3 million lines, and now has over 6.5 million broadband subscribers.
Sky customer relationships in Europe increased over the year by 88,000 to 23.03 million, with net additions in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, contributing to Sky revenue of $17.95 billion.
During the year, Comcast recorded non-cash impairment charges related to goodwill and intangible assets for Sky of $8.6 billion, reflecting reduced estimated future cash flows due to macroeconomic conditions.