TVBizwire

NBCUniversal Chief Says NBC Is 'Still Underperforming' Deadline

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is not among those who are impressed with NBC’s ratings gains this fall. Speaking to analysts today during Comcast’s third-quarter earnings call, Burke said: “We’re still underperforming by my standards,” Deadline.com reports.

Burke added: “Broadcast profitability can be dramatically higher. We feel like we’re on the right path but there’s a long, long way to go.”

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts offered his own slightly more optimistic assessment: ”It’s certainly early, but I believe and hope we’re seeing the beginning of a turnaround.”

The report notes that NBC is the only one of the big four broadcast networks that is bucking the overall downward ratings trend this season.

“NBC’s Live+Same Day primetime ratings for 18- to 49-year-olds are +19% for the first four weeks of the new season, while ABC’s -11%, CBS is -18%, and Fox is -24%,” the piece reports.

Burke blames the overall downtrend at least in part on the proliferation of tablets and smartphones, saying the devices have “given people so many options for viewing that they’re viewing more [television programming] but in places that are neither measured nor monetized,” the story reports.