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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2019
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                       to                    
 
 
https://cdn.kscope.io/ed3fdd048e42edae9a5887602c342c99-comcastlogoa18.jpg
 
 
Commission File Number
 
Registrant; State of Incorporation; Address and
Telephone Number
 
I.R.S. Employer Identification No.
001-32871
 
COMCAST CORPORATION
 
27-0000798
Pennsylvania
One Comcast Center
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2838
(215286-1700
001-36438
 
NBCUNIVERSAL MEDIA, LLC
 
14-1682529
Delaware
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112-0015
(212) 664-4444
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
Comcast Corporation –
 
 
 
 
Title of Each Class
  
Trading symbol(s)
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value
 
CMCSA
 
NASDAQ Global Select Market
2.0% Exchangeable Subordinated Debentures due 2029
 
CCZ
 
New York Stock Exchange
5.50% Notes due 2029

 
CCGBP29
 
New York Stock Exchange
9.455% Guaranteed Notes due 2022
 
CMCSA/22
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
 
 
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC – NONE
 
 
 
 
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:
Comcast Corporation – NONE
NBCUniversal Media, LLC – NONE
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
 
Comcast Corporation
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
 
Comcast Corporation
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
 
Comcast Corporation
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
 
Comcast Corporation
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Comcast Corporation
Large accelerated filer
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Large accelerated filer
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
 
Comcast Corporation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).     
 
Comcast Corporation
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
NBCUniversal Media, LLC
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As of June 30, 2019, the aggregate market value of the Comcast Corporation common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $190.526 billion.
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of stock, as of the latest practicable date:
As of December 31, 2019, there were 4,543,590,270 shares of Comcast Corporation Class A common stock and 9,444,375 shares of Class B common stock outstanding.
Not applicable for NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a), (b) and (d) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing this form with the reduced disclosure format.
 
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Comcast Corporation – Part III – The registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its annual meeting of shareholders presently scheduled to be held in June 2020.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC – NONE
 




Comcast Corporation
2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K
Table of Contents
PART I
Item 1
Item 1A
Item 1B
Item 2
Item 3
Item 4
 
PART II
Item 5
Item 6
Item 7
Item 7A
Item 8
Item 9
Item 9A
Item 9B
 
PART III
Item 10
Item 11
Item 12
Item 13
Item 14
 
PART IV
Item 15
Item 16
Explanatory Note
This Annual Report on Form 10-K is a combined report being filed separately by Comcast Corporation (“Comcast”) and NBCUniversal Media, LLC (“NBCUniversal”). Comcast owns all of the common equity interests in NBCUniversal, and NBCUniversal meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a), (b) and (d) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing its information within this Form 10-K with the reduced disclosure format. Each of Comcast and NBCUniversal is filing on its own behalf the information contained in this report that relates to itself, and neither company makes any representation as to information relating to the other company. Where information or an explanation is provided that is substantially the same for each company, such information or explanation has been combined in this report. Where information or an explanation is not substantially the same for each company, separate information and explanation has been provided. In addition, separate consolidated financial statements for each company, along with notes to the consolidated financial statements, are included in this report.





Unless indicated otherwise, throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we refer to Comcast and its consolidated subsidiaries, including NBCUniversal and its consolidated subsidiaries as “we,” “us” and “our;” Comcast Cable Communications, LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries as “Comcast Cable;” Comcast Holdings Corporation as “Comcast Holdings;” NBCUniversal, LLC as “NBCUniversal Holdings;” NBCUniversal Enterprise, Inc. as “NBCUniversal Enterprise;” and Sky Limited and its consolidated subsidiaries as “Sky.”
This Annual Report on Form 10-K is for the year ended December 31, 2019. This Annual Report on Form 10-K modifies and supersedes documents filed before it.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) allows us to “incorporate by reference” information that we file with it, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you directly to those documents. Information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition, information that we file with the SEC in the future will automatically update and supersede information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our registered trademarks include Comcast, NBCUniversal and the Comcast and NBCUniversal logos. This Annual Report on Form 10-K also contains other trademarks, service marks and trade names owned by us, as well as those owned by others.

 



Part I
Item 1: Business
We are a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky. We were incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania in December 2001. Through our predecessors, we have developed, managed and operated cable systems since 1963. Through transactions in 2011 and 2013, we acquired NBCUniversal, and in the fourth quarter of 2018, we acquired Sky.
We present our operations for (1) Comcast Cable in one reportable business segment, referred to as Cable Communications; (2) NBCUniversal in four reportable business segments: Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks (collectively, the “NBCUniversal segments”); and (3) Sky in one reportable business segment.
Cable Communications: Consists of the operations of Comcast Cable, which is a leading provider of high-speed internet, video, voice, wireless, and security and automation services to residential customers in the United States under the Xfinity brand; we also provide these and other services to business customers and sell advertising.
Cable Networks: Consists primarily of our national cable networks that provide a variety of entertainment, news and information, and sports content; our regional sports and news networks; our international cable networks; our cable television studio production operations; and various digital properties.
Broadcast Television: Consists primarily of the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, our NBC and Telemundo owned local broadcast television stations, the NBC Universo national cable network, our broadcast television studio production operations, and various digital properties.
Filmed Entertainment: Consists primarily of the operations of Universal Pictures, which produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide; our films are also produced under the Illumination, DreamWorks Animation and Focus Features names.
Theme Parks: Consists primarily of our Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida; Hollywood, California; and Osaka, Japan. In addition, we are developing a theme park in Beijing, China along with a consortium of Chinese state-owned companies, and an additional theme park in Orlando, Florida.
Sky: Consists of the operations of Sky, one of Europe’s leading entertainment companies, which primarily includes a direct-to-consumer business, providing video, high-speed internet, voice and wireless phone services, and a content business, operating entertainment networks, the Sky News broadcast network and Sky Sports networks.
Our other business interests consist primarily of the operations of Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and other business initiatives, such as the development of Peacock, our direct-to-consumer streaming service that will feature NBCUniversal content.
For financial and other information about our reportable business segments, refer to Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 2 to each of Comcast’s and NBCUniversal’s consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Available Information and Websites
Comcast’s phone number is (215) 286-1700, and its principal executive offices are located at One Comcast Center, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2838. NBCUniversal’s phone number is (212) 664-4444, and its principal executive offices are located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112-0015. Comcast and NBCUniversal’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to such reports filed with or furnished to the SEC under Sections 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available free of charge on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and on Comcast’s website at www.comcastcorporation.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are electronically filed with the SEC. The information posted on our websites is not incorporated into our SEC filings.

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


1
 


Description of Our Businesses
Cable Communications Segment
Cable Communications offers high-speed internet, video, voice, wireless, and security and automation services in the United States individually and as bundled services at a discounted rate over its cable distribution system to residential and business customers. Revenue is generated primarily from residential and business customers that subscribe to our services, which are marketed individually and as bundled services, and from the sale of advertising. Bundled service offerings aim to meet the needs of various segments of our customer base, ranging from high-speed internet services packaged with video or streaming services that include a limited number of channels, to a five-product bundle, consisting of high-speed internet, video, voice, wireless, and security and automation services. Subscription rates and related charges vary according to the services and features customers receive and the types of equipment they use, and customers are typically billed in advance on a monthly basis. A portion of our residential customers are subject to minimum-term contracts for their cable services, which are typically 1 to 2 years in length. Substantially all business customers are initially under minimum-term contracts, which typically range from 2 to 5 years. Customers with minimum-term contracts may only discontinue service in accordance with the terms of their contracts.
As of December 31, 2019, Cable Communications had 31.5 million total customer relationships, including 29.1 million residential customer relationships and 2.4 million business customer relationships, and passed more than 58 million homes and businesses. Homes and businesses are considered passed if we can connect them to our cable distribution system without further extending the transmission lines and are estimated based on the best available information. As of December 31, 2019, total customer relationships penetration of homes and businesses passed was 54%.
The Areas We Serve
The map below highlights Cable Communications’ cable distribution footprint as of December 31, 2019 and the designated market areas (“DMAs”) where we have 250,000 or more customer relationships, with the locations that are bolded representing one of the top 25 U.S. television DMAs as of December 31, 2019.
https://cdn.kscope.io/ed3fdd048e42edae9a5887602c342c99-usmapcomcastfinalasof121.jpg


 
2
Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


High-Speed Internet
Cable Communications offers high-speed internet services with downstream speeds that range up to 1 gigabit per second (“Gbps”) and fiber-based speeds that range up to 2 Gbps. These services include access to an online portal and mobile apps, which provide users with the ability to manage their home Wi-Fi network, email, an address book, calendars and online security features.
Throughout its footprint, Cable Communications deploys wireless gateways to customers that combine an internet and voice modem with a Wi-Fi router to deliver reliable internet speeds and enhanced coverage through an in-and-out-of-home Wi-Fi network. Customers with wireless gateways may also personalize and manage their Wi-Fi network remotely with the xFi branded whole-home application and online portal, which includes viewing and changing their Wi-Fi password, identifying which devices are connected to their in-home network, setting parental controls and schedules, advanced security, and other features. Cable Communications continues to expand its network of residential, outdoor and business Wi-Fi hotspots. Certain high-speed internet customers who do not subscribe to our video services also receive Flex, a streaming device with access to various programming and other third-party internet apps on their television.
As of December 31, 2019, 26.4 million residential customers subscribed to our high-speed internet services.
Video
Cable Communications offers a broad variety of video services, primarily through our X1 platform, an Internet Protocol (“IP”) and cloud-enabled video platform. Video customers have access to hundreds of channels depending on the level of service, which typically range from limited basic service with access to between 20 and 60 channels to full service with access to more than 300 channels. Video services generally include programming provided by national broadcast networks, local broadcast stations, and national and regional cable networks, as well as government and public access programming. Our video services also include access to video on demand services (“On Demand”) and an interactive, on-screen program guide. Our On Demand service provides video customers with access to hundreds of thousands of programming choices included in our library. Other content, primarily movies and special-events programming, such as sporting events and concerts, can be rented or in some cases purchased to own digitally. Customers also receive high-definition (“HD”) video service that provides high-resolution picture quality, improved audio quality and a wide-screen format through an HD set-top box, and a broad selection of HD programming choices. Customers also have the option to subscribe to additional services, including a digital video recorder (“DVR”) service that allows customers to record and store programs and play them at their convenience, including online and through our mobile app, and to pause and rewind live television. Additionally, customers may subscribe to premium networks that generally provide, without commercial interruption, movies, original programming, live and pre-recorded sporting events and concerts, and other features. We also offer video service packages that include extensive amounts of foreign-language programming and other specialty tiers of programming. We tailor our video services for particular programming preferences, demographics and geographic areas in accordance with applicable local and federal regulatory requirements.
Through the X1 platform, customers have integrated search functionality, including the use of a voice-activated remote control, personalized recommendations and access to, and integration of, certain third-party internet apps, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Additionally, a variety of music apps such as Pandora are offered through X1.
Customers have access to their video services through the Stream mobile app and an online portal that allow them to view certain live programming and On Demand content and to browse program listings. Additionally, Cable Communications offers a streaming video service throughout our footprint that allows high-speed internet customers to purchase video services and stream live programming to a computer, tablet, smartphone or other device for a monthly fee.
As of December 31, 2019, 20.3 million residential customers subscribed to our video services.
Voice
Cable Communications offers voice services using interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) technology. The services provide either unlimited or usage-based local and domestic long-distance calling and include options for international calling plans, voicemail, voicemail transcriptions, text messaging and various call features such as caller ID and call waiting. For customers with high-speed internet services, voice services also include the ability to access and manage voicemail, text messaging and other account features through an online portal or mobile apps.
As of December 31, 2019, 9.9 million residential customers subscribed to our voice services.

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


3
 


Wireless
Cable Communications offers wireless phone services using mobile virtual network operator (“MVNO”) rights to provide the services over Verizon’s wireless network and our existing network of in-home and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots. The services are currently offered only as part of our bundled service offerings to residential customers that subscribe to high-speed internet service within our cable distribution footprint and may in the future also be offered to small business customers on similar terms. Customers may choose to pay for services on an unlimited data plan or per gigabyte of data used. Customers have the ability to bring their own device or purchase handsets with the option to pay upfront or finance the purchase interest-free over 24 months.
As of December 31, 2019, there were 2.1 million activated wireless lines that were subscribed to our wireless services. Individual customer relationships may have multiple lines.
Business Services
Cable Communications offers a variety of products and services to businesses. High-speed internet services provide downstream speeds that range up to 1 Gbps and fiber-based speeds that range up to 10 Gbps. Our service offerings for small business locations primarily include high-speed internet services, as well as voice and video services, that are similar to those provided to residential customers, as well as cloud-based cybersecurity services, wireless backup connectivity, advanced Wi-Fi solutions, video monitoring services and cloud-based services that provide file sharing, online backup and web conferencing, among other features. We also offer Ethernet network services that connect multiple locations and provide higher downstream and upstream speed options to medium-sized customers and larger enterprises, as well as advanced voice services, along with video solutions that serve hotels and other large venues. In addition, we provide cellular backhaul services to mobile network operators to help them manage their network bandwidth.
Cable Communications has expanded its service offerings to include a software-defined networking product for medium-sized and enterprise customers. Larger enterprises may also receive support services related to Wi-Fi networks, router management, network security, business continuity risks and other services. These service offerings are primarily provided to Fortune 1000 companies and other large enterprises with multiple locations both within and outside of Cable Communications’ cable distribution footprint, where we have agreements with other companies to use their networks to provide coverage outside of our service areas.
Advertising
As part of Cable Communications’ distribution agreements with cable networks, we generally receive an allocation of scheduled advertising time that is sold through our advertising business to local, regional and national advertisers. In most cases, the available advertising units are sold by our sales force. In some cases, we work with representation firms as an extension of our sales force to sell a portion of the advertising units allocated to us. Cable Communications also represents the advertising sales efforts of other multichannel video providers in some markets. In addition, we generate revenue from the sale of advertising on our digital platforms. We also provide technology, tools, data-driven services and marketplace solutions to customers in the media industry, which allow advertisers to more effectively engage with their target audiences.
Other
Cable Communications offers security and automation services that provide home monitoring services and the ability to manage other functions within the home, such as lighting and room temperature, through our online portal, mobile apps or the X1 platform. We also license our technology platforms to other multichannel video providers.
As of December 31, 2019, 1.4 million residential customers subscribed to our security and automation services.
Technology
Cable Communications’ cable distribution system uses a hybrid fiber-optic and coaxial cable network that we believe is sufficiently flexible and scalable to support our future technology requirements. This network provides the two-way transmissions that are essential to providing high-speed internet services, interactive video services such as On Demand, voice services, and security and automation services.
Cable Communications continues to focus on technology initiatives to design, develop and deploy next-generation media and content delivery platforms, such as the X1 platform and related cloud DVR technology, and Flex, which use IP technology and our own cloud network servers to deliver video and advanced search capabilities, including through a voice-activated remote control, and that provide access to certain third-party internet apps.
Cable Communications continues to deploy 1 Gbps high-speed internet services that leverage DOCSIS 3.1 technology across its footprint and will continue to expand the capacity of its DOCSIS 3.1 infrastructure, including the implementation of DOCSIS FDX that will enable multi-gigabit services to be launched through our hybrid fiber-optic and coaxial cable network.

 
4
Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


Sources of Supply
Cable Communications licenses software products for our high-speed internet services, such as email and security software, and content, such as news feeds for its online portal, from a variety of suppliers. Under these contracts with these suppliers, we generally pay on a fixed-fee basis, on a per subscriber basis in the case of software product licenses or on a video advertising revenue share basis in the case of content licenses.
To offer video services, Cable Communications licenses a substantial portion of programming from cable and broadcast networks, as well as from local broadcast television stations. We attempt to secure long-term programming distribution agreements with these programming providers. The fees associated with these programming distribution agreements are generally based on the number of subscribers who are able to watch the programming and the platforms on which the content is provided. We seek to include in distribution agreements the rights to offer such programming through multiple delivery platforms, such as through our On Demand service, online portal, mobile apps and streaming services.
For voice services, software products such as voicemail and text messaging are licensed from a variety of suppliers under multiyear contracts. The fees paid are generally based on the consumption of the related services.
For wireless services, we have an MVNO agreement that allows us to offer services using Verizon’s wireless network.
Cable Communications purchases from a limited number of suppliers a significant number of set-top boxes and certain other customer premise equipment, network equipment and services to provide services to residential and business customers.
Cable Communications uses two primary vendors to provide customer billing for our residential and business customers.
Customer and Technical Services
Cable Communications’ customer service call centers provide 24/7 call-answering capability, telemarketing and other services. Our technical services group performs various tasks, including installations, plant maintenance and upgrades to its cable distribution system.
Sales and Marketing
Cable Communications offers services directly to residential and business customers through its customer service call centers, retail stores, customer service centers, websites, door-to-door selling, telemarketing, and third-party outlets, as well as through advertising via direct mail, television and the internet.

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


5
 


NBCUniversal Segments
NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies that develops, produces and distributes entertainment, news and information, sports, and other content for global audiences, and owns and operates theme parks worldwide.
Cable Networks
Cable Networks consists of a diversified portfolio of national cable networks that provide a variety of entertainment, news and information, and sports content; regional sports and news networks; international cable networks and cable television studio production operations. It also owns various digital properties, which include brand-aligned websites.
The table below presents a summary of NBCUniversal’s national cable networks and their advertising reach to U.S. households.
Cable Network
Approximate U.S.
Households as of
December 31, 2019
(in millions)(a)

Description of Programming
USA Network
87

General entertainment
E!
84

Entertainment and pop culture
Syfy
84

Imagination-based entertainment
Bravo
84

Entertainment, culture and arts
MSNBC
83

News, political commentary and information
CNBC
82

Business and financial news
NBC Sports Network
80

Sports
Oxygen
70

Crime, mystery and suspense for women
Golf Channel
68

Golf competition and golf entertainment
Universal Kids
54

Children’s entertainment
The Olympic Channel
34

Olympic sports events and Olympic-themed original content
CNBC World
28

Global financial reviews
(a)
Household data is based on The Nielsen Company’s December 2019 Household Universe Estimate report, except for the Olympic Channel, which is derived from information provided by SNL Kagan. The Nielsen report includes estimates based on subscribers to both traditional and certain virtual multichannel video providers. The Nielsen report is not based on information provided by us and is included solely to permit comparisons between our cable networks and those operated by our peers.
Our regional sports and news networks together serve more than 26 million households across the United States, including in markets such as Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento and San Francisco.
Revenue is generated primarily from the distribution and licensing of programming and from the sale of advertising on our networks and digital properties. We market and distribute cable network programming in the United States and internationally to multichannel video providers, including both traditional providers of linear programming and virtual providers who provide streaming services for linear programming. We also market and distribute cable network programming to subscription video on demand services, such as those offered by Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. These distributors may provide the content on television, including via video on demand services, online and through mobile apps.
Cable Networks produces owned programs or acquires the rights to programming from third parties, including sports programming rights that are discussed below under the heading “Broadcast Television.” NBCUniversal’s cable television studio production operations identify, develop and produce original content for our own cable networks and third parties. We license owned content to cable and broadcast networks and subscription video on demand services. We also sell owned content on standard-definition DVDs and Blu-ray discs (together, “DVDs”) and through digital distribution services such as iTunes. We anticipate that our cable television studio production operations will also produce content for and license content to Peacock.
Broadcast Television
Broadcast Television operates the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, which together reach viewers and advertisers in all 50 states, as well as our owned NBC and Telemundo local broadcast television stations, the NBC Universo national cable network, broadcast television studio production operations, and various digital properties, which primarily include brand-aligned websites. Revenue is generated primarily from the sale of advertising on our networks and digital properties, from the licensing of programming, and from the fees received under retransmission consent agreements and associated fees received from NBC-affiliated and Telemundo-affiliated local broadcast television stations.

 
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NBC Network
The NBC network distributes entertainment, news and sports programming that reaches viewers in virtually all U.S. television households through more than 200 affiliated stations across the United States, including NBCUniversal’s 11 owned NBC-affiliated local broadcast television stations. The NBC network’s programming library consists of rights of varying nature to more than 100,000 episodes of popular television content, including current and classic titles, unscripted programming, sports, news, long-form and short-form programming, and locally produced programming from around the world.
The NBC network produces owned programs or acquires the rights to programming from third parties. NBCUniversal has various contractual commitments for the licensing of rights to multiyear programming, primarily sports programming. The most significant sports programming commitments include the U.S. broadcast rights for the summer and winter Olympic Games through 2032 and agreements with the NFL to produce and broadcast a specified number of regular season and playoff games, including Sunday Night Football through the 2022-23 season and the Super Bowl in 2022. We also have U.S. broadcast rights to a specified number of NHL games through the 2020-21 season, English Premier League soccer through the 2021-22 season, certain NASCAR events through 2024 and certain PGA TOUR and other golf events through 2030. NBCUniversal’s sports programming agreements also include the rights to distribute content on our national cable networks, including the NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel, and regional sports networks, and online, including through mobile apps.
The broadcast television studio production operations develop and produce original content, including scripted and unscripted programming series and talk shows. This original content is licensed to broadcast networks, cable networks and local broadcast television stations owned by NBCUniversal and third parties, as well as to subscription video on demand services, and it is sold on DVDs and through digital distribution services both in the United States and internationally. The broadcast television studio production operations also produce first-run syndicated shows for local markets that are broadcast on local broadcast television stations in the United States on a market-by-market basis. We currently distribute some of our television programs after their initial broadcast, as well as older television programs from the library, to local broadcast television stations and cable networks in the off-network syndication market. We anticipate that our broadcast television studio production operations will also produce content for and license content to Peacock.
NBC Local Broadcast Television Stations
As of December 31, 2019, NBCUniversal owned and operated 11 NBC-affiliated local broadcast television stations, including stations in 8 of the top 10 general markets, that collectively reached approximately 31 million U.S. television households and represent approximately 29% of U.S. television households. In addition to broadcasting the NBC network’s national programming, our local broadcast television stations produce news, sports, public affairs and other programming that addresses local needs and acquire syndicated programming from other sources.
Telemundo
Telemundo is a leading Hispanic media company that produces, acquires and distributes Spanish-language content in the United States and internationally. Telemundo’s operations include the Telemundo network, 30 owned local broadcast television stations and the NBC Universo national cable network.
The Telemundo network is a leading Spanish-language broadcast network featuring original telenovelas, movies, news, specials and sporting events. Telemundo develops original programming primarily through its production studio and also acquires the rights to programming from third parties. We hold the Spanish-language U.S. broadcast rights to FIFA World Cup soccer through 2026.
Telemundo Local Broadcast Television Stations
As of December 31, 2019, Telemundo owned 30 local broadcast television stations affiliated with the Telemundo network, including an independent television station in Puerto Rico and stations in 19 of the top 20 U.S. Hispanic markets, which collectively reached approximately 72% of U.S. Hispanic television households as of December 31, 2019.
Filmed Entertainment
Filmed Entertainment primarily produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide. It also includes Fandango, a movie ticketing and entertainment business, our consumer products business and our live stage production business. We also distribute filmed entertainment produced by third parties.
Filmed Entertainment produces content both alone and jointly with other studios or production companies, as well as with other entities. NBCUniversal’s films are produced primarily under the Universal Pictures, Illumination, DreamWorks Animation and Focus Features names. Films are marketed and distributed worldwide primarily through NBCUniversal’s own marketing and distribution operations. Filmed Entertainment also acquires distribution rights to films produced by others, which may be limited to particular geographic regions, specific forms of media or certain periods of time. Filmed Entertainment’s content includes theatrical films, direct-to-video movies and a film library, which is comprised of more than 5,000 movies in a variety of genres.

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Filmed Entertainment has entered into, and may continue to enter into, film cofinancing arrangements with third parties, including both studio and nonstudio entities, to jointly finance or distribute certain of our film productions. These arrangements can take various forms, but in most cases involve the grant of an economic interest in a film to an investor. Investors generally assume the full risks and rewards of ownership proportionate to their ownership in the film.
The majority of our produced and acquired films are initially distributed for exhibition in movie theaters. After their release in movie theaters, we sell and license films through various methods. We distribute films globally by selling them on DVDs to retail stores and rental kiosks, and through digital distribution services and video on demand services provided by multichannel video providers, including the Cable Communications and Sky segments. We also license films, including selections from the film library, to cable, broadcast and premium networks, to subscription video on demand services, and to video on demand and pay-per-view services. The number of films licensed through subscription video on demand services is increasing as consumers continue to seek additional ways to view the Filmed Entertainment’s content. We anticipate that our film studios will also produce content for and license content to Peacock.
Theme Parks
Theme Parks consists primarily of Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida; Hollywood, California; and Osaka, Japan. Universal Orlando includes two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and our water park, Volcano Bay, and we are building an additional theme park named Universal’s Epic Universe. Universal Orlando also includes Universal CityWalk Orlando, a dining, retail and entertainment complex, and features on-site themed hotels in which we own a noncontrolling interest. The Universal theme park in Hollywood, California consists primarily of Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as Universal CityWalk Hollywood. The Universal theme park in Osaka, Japan consists primarily of Universal Studios Japan. NBCUniversal is also developing a theme park in Beijing, China along with a consortium of Chinese state-owned companies. In addition, Theme Parks licenses the right to use the Universal Studios brand name and other intellectual property, and also provides other services, to third parties that own and operate the Universal Studios Singapore theme park on Sentosa Island, Singapore.
Revenue is generated primarily from guest spending at Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida; Hollywood, California; and Osaka, Japan. Theme Parks licenses the right to use a substantial amount of intellectual property from third parties for its themed elements in rides, attractions and merchandising.
Sky Segment
Sky is one of Europe’s leading entertainment companies operating in seven territories, including three of the four largest pay television markets in Western Europe: the United Kingdom (“U.K.”), Italy and Germany. The majority of revenue is derived from Sky’s direct-to-consumer business, which has 24.0 million retail customers, and primarily involves the distribution of a wide array of video channels to both residential and business customers. Sky owns a diverse portfolio of pay television channels that offer entertainment, news, sports and movies, which are included in Sky’s subscription video services and are also licensed through various distribution partnerships to third-party video providers that reach an additional 3.9 million households. Sky also provides high-speed internet, voice and wireless phone services in select countries. Sky’s video, high-speed internet, voice and wireless phone services may be purchased individually or in bundles.
Video
Sky’s video services include a direct-to-home (“DTH”) video service delivered through a combination of both satellite transmission and broadband connection and marketed under the Sky brand in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. Sky also offers an over the top (“OTT”) video service providing video content over the internet which is marketed as a distinct brand in these countries, as well as in Spain and Switzerland.
Sky’s DTH video service is sold directly to customers in packages that include a diverse selection of Sky’s owned entertainment and sports channels, channels owned by third parties and local free-to-air public broadcasting channels. In addition to live-linear content, Sky’s platform also provides access to On Demand and current and prior season libraries for certain television shows. Sky’s service offerings are tailored by country, with separate packages offered in each market. Basic packages include up to approximately 98 pay television channels in the U.K. and Ireland, approximately 72 channels in Italy, and approximately 28 channels in Germany and Austria. Specialty tiers for children’s, sports, movie and HD programming are available for additional fees. Sky’s services also have pay-per-view programming for certain live sporting events and allow customers, as well as those without a subscription, to buy or rent programming for a fee.
Sky’s DTH video service is primarily distributed to customers through a set-top box video platform, including through Sky Q, which is Sky’s next-generation video platform. Customers have the ability to record several shows at once, to download content and recordings to watch offline on compatible devices, and for Sky Q households, to pause programming in one room and continue

 
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watching in another. Sky Q customers are offered personalized content recommendations and the use of a voice activated remote control, as well as integrated access to content from other providers such as Netflix, Spotify, Vevo and YouTube.
Sky’s OTT video service offers packages for purchase ranging from daily, weekly or monthly access to entertainment, sports, movies and children’s programming. The entertainment package includes Sky’s owned entertainment channels and a broad range of On Demand programming series. The sports package provides access to Sky’s owned sports channels and the movie package includes access to a library of films, including 40 or more new films per month. The children’s package includes thousands of hours of child-friendly on demand programming.
Other than those who subscribe to Sky’s OTT video service, customers generally are required to subscribe for an initial contractual term of at least 1 year and may only discontinue service in accordance with the terms of their contracts. Subscription rates and related charges vary according to the services and features customers receive and the types of equipment they use, and customers are typically billed in advance on a monthly basis.
Television Channels
Sky’s owned entertainment channels include Sky One, Sky Arts and Sky Atlantic in the U.K. and Ireland; Sky Atlantic, Sky Uno and Sky Arte in Italy; and Sky Atlantic and Sky 1 in Germany and Austria. Sky also owns premium sports channels under the Sky Sports brand and premium movie channels under the Sky Cinema brand, including family and children’s movie channels. Sky also broadcasts several Sky branded free-to-air channels, including Sky News in the U.K. and Ireland, Sky TG24 in Italy and Sky Sport News in Germany.
Sky acquires the rights to programming for owned channels from third parties, in some cases on an exclusive basis. Sky has various contractual commitments for the licensing of rights to multiyear programming, primarily sports programming and exclusive entertainment programming. Our most significant sports programming commitments include the U.K. broadcast rights for English Premier League soccer games through 2022; German broadcast rights to Bundesliga and Union des Associations Européennes de Football Champions League (“UCL”) through 2021; and Italian broadcast rights to UCL and Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A through 2021. Our most significant entertainment programming commitments include exclusive rights with HBO, Showtime, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”). Sky is also increasingly creating and investing in original scripted content that is broadcast across all of its territories and sold to other markets and we anticipate that our Sky studio production operations will also produce content for and license content to Peacock.
In addition to including owned channels as part of its video services, Sky distributes some of its owned channels on third-party platforms through both wholesale arrangements and arrangements with partners who distribute Sky’s owned channels as agents to their respective customer bases. Additionally, Sky licenses owned and acquired programming to third-party video providers.
Advertising
Sky sells advertising and sponsorships across its owned television channels and where it represents the sales efforts of third-party channels. Sky also sells targeted advertising and generates revenue from online and mobile advertising and advertising across its On Demand services.
Other Services
Sky offers high-speed internet and voice services in the U.K. and Ireland. Sky offers fiber-to-the-cabinet, standard copper digital subscriber line (“DSL”) broadband and fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) services, with download speeds up to 150 megabits per second in the U.K. and up to 1 Gbps in Ireland. In the U.K., Sky uses a combination of its own core fiber network and wholesaling arrangements over third-party telecommunication providers’ networks as the core network and also accesses the “last mile” network from third-party network operators for a fee to provide its services to customers. In Italy, Sky offers video service with high-speed internet and phone services through co-marketing agreements with several Italian broadband and telecommunications providers, and plans to launch FTTH services using Open Fiber to provide high-speed internet access and voice services in 2020. Sky offers wireless phone services to customers in the U.K. using a combination of its own core fiber network and an arrangement to access network assets from Telefónica.
Technology and Sources of Supply
For a majority of customers, Sky’s DTH video platform is delivered via one-way digital satellite transmission for the distribution of linear television channels, augmented by a set-top box with local DVR storage and high speed two-way broadband connectivity to provide access to a broad range of On Demand and other services. The Sky platform also incorporates Wi-Fi connectivity for in-home distribution enabling wireless multi-room consumption, and Sky has also developed a range of back-end and client software applications that provide customers with access to its content across multiple third-party devices and On Demand in and out of the home. Sky’s OTT video service is delivered via the internet.

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Sky relies on various telecommunications providers to deliver video, high-speed internet, voice and wireless phone services to its customers. For example, Sky relies on satellites leased from third parties to provide most of its video services. In addition, pursuant to the current regulatory regime in the U.K. and Italy, Sky is able to access networks owned by third-party telecommunication providers for a fee to provide its high-speed internet and voice services in most cases, on regulated terms.
To offer video services, in addition to its owned channels, Sky licenses programming from third-party programming providers that operate television channels. Sky attempts to secure long-term programming distribution agreements with these programming providers. The fees associated with these programming distribution agreements are generally based on the number of customers who are able to watch the programming and the platforms on which Sky provides the content. Sky seeks to include in distribution agreements the rights to offer such programming through multiple delivery platforms, such as through On Demand services, mobile apps and streaming services.
Customer and Home Services
Sky’s customer service operations are increasingly a digital first offering. The home service group performs various tasks, including installing, servicing and performing upgrades of customer premise equipment.
Sales and Marketing
Sky offers direct-to-consumer services to retail customers through customer service call centers, websites, telemarketing, a limited number of retail outlets, as well as through advertising via direct mail, television and the internet.
Corporate and Other
Our other business interests consist primarily of the operations of Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and other business initiatives, such as the development of Peacock.
Competition
All of our businesses operate in intensely competitive, consumer-driven and rapidly changing environments and compete with a growing number of companies that provide a broad range of communications products and services, and entertainment, news and information content to consumers. Technological changes are further intensifying and complicating the competitive landscape and challenging existing business models. In particular, consumers are increasingly turning to online sources for viewing and purchasing content, which has and likely will continue to reduce the number of our video customers and subscribers to our cable networks even as it makes high-speed internet services more important to consumers. In addition, the increasing number of entertainment choices available to consumers has intensified audience fragmentation and disaggregated the way that content traditionally has been viewed by consumers. This increase has caused and likely will continue to cause audience ratings declines at our programming channels.
Cable Communications Segment
Competition for Cable Communications’ services consists primarily of phone companies with fiber-based networks and direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) providers that typically offer features, pricing and packaging for services comparable to ours.
High-Speed Internet
Cable Communications competes with a number of companies offering internet services, including:
wireline phone companies and other providers of wireline internet service
wireless phone companies and other providers of wireless internet service
municipal broadband networks and power companies
satellite broadband providers
Phone companies such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Verizon have built and are continuing to build fiber-based network infrastructure farther into their networks, which allows them to provide data transmission speeds that exceed those that can be provided with traditional DSL technology, and are offering these higher-speed services in many of our service areas. Certain companies that offer DSL service have increased data transmission speeds, lowered prices or created bundled services to compete with our high-speed internet services.

 
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Certain other companies have launched FTTH networks that provide high-speed internet services in a limited number of areas in which we operate, and certain municipalities in our service areas are also building fiber-based networks.
Various wireless companies are offering internet services using a variety of network types, including 3G and 4G, and recently 5G which is currently available in limited locations, wireless broadband services and Wi-Fi networks. These networks work with devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and mobile and fixed wireless routers, as well as wireless data cards. A growing number of commercial venues, such as retail malls, restaurants and airports, also offer Wi-Fi service. Numerous local governments are also considering or actively pursuing publicly subsidized Wi-Fi and other internet access networks. The availability of these wireless offerings could negatively impact the demand for our high-speed internet services.
Video
Cable Communications competes with a number of different sources in the United States that provide news, sports, information and entertainment programming to consumers, including:
DBS providers, including AT&T’s DIRECTV and DISH Network, that transmit satellite signals to substantially all U.S. households to provide video programming and other information similar to our video services
phone companies, including AT&T and Verizon, that have built and continue to build fiber-based networks that provide services similar to ours, which overlap a substantial portion of our service areas, and that in some cases provide bundled offerings that include wireless phone services
OTT service providers including:
virtual multichannel video providers who offer streaming services for linear programming that generally involve smaller packages of programming networks at prices lower than our traditional video service package offerings
subscription video on demand services, such as those offered by Amazon, Apple, Disney, Hulu and Netflix, that offer online services and devices that enable internet streaming and downloading of movies, television shows and other video programming
traditional television and film programmers, networks and media companies that provide content directly to consumers
other providers that build and operate wireline communications systems in the same communities that we serve, including those operating as franchised cable operators
satellite master antenna television systems that offer to their subscribers both improved reception of local broadcast television stations and much of the programming offered by our cable systems and generally serve multiple dwelling units (“MDUs”), office complexes and residential developments
other companies, such as local broadcast television stations, that provide multiple channels of free over-the-air programming, as well as video rental services and home entertainment and gaming products
Many of these competitors also have significant financial resources and have further intensified competition through mergers and acquisitions.
Voice
Cable Communications competes with wireline and wireless phone companies, including incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”) and competitive local exchange carriers (“CLECs”), and other internet-based and VoIP service providers. Certain phone companies, such as the ILECs AT&T and Verizon, have longstanding customer relationships, and extensive existing facilities and network rights-of-way. A few CLECs also have existing local networks and significant financial resources. In addition, we are increasingly competing with other phone service providers as customers replace traditional wireline phone services with wireless and internet-based phone services, such as Skype.
Wireless
Cable Communications competes with national wireless phone service providers in the United States, including AT&T and Verizon, which offer wireless service on both a standalone basis or along with other services as bundled offerings, as well as regional providers of wireless communications services.

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Business Services
Cable Communications primarily competes with a variety of phone companies, including ILECs and CLECs and wide area network managed service providers. These companies either operate their own network infrastructure or use all or part of another carrier’s network. We also compete with satellite operators who offer video services to businesses and VoIP companies that target businesses of all sizes. Our video monitoring services compete with companies that provide video surveillance services that use both traditional and cloud-based/digital solutions.
NBCUniversal Segments
Cable Networks and Broadcast Television
NBCUniversal’s cable networks, broadcast networks and owned local broadcast television stations compete for viewers’ attention and audience share with all forms of programming provided to viewers, including cable, broadcast and premium networks; OTT service providers; local broadcast television stations; home entertainment products; pay-per-view and video on demand services; online activities, such as social networking and viewing user-generated content; gaming products; and other forms of entertainment, news and information.
NBCUniversal’s cable networks, broadcast networks and owned local broadcast television stations compete for the acquisition of programming and for on-air and creative talent with other cable and broadcast networks, OTT service providers, and local television stations. The market for programming is very competitive, particularly for sports programming, where the cost for such programming is significant.
NBCUniversal’s cable networks compete with other cable networks and programming providers for carriage of their programming by multichannel video providers and OTT service providers. Our broadcast networks compete with the other broadcast networks in markets across the United States to secure affiliations with independently owned television stations, which are necessary to ensure the effective distribution of broadcast network programming to a nationwide audience.
In addition, NBCUniversal’s cable television and broadcast television studio production operations compete with other production companies and creators of content for the acquisition of story properties, for creative, performing and technical personnel, and for distribution of, and consumer interest in, their content.
Filmed Entertainment
Filmed Entertainment competes for audiences for films and other entertainment content with other major studios and independent film producers, as well as with alternative forms of entertainment. The competitive position of Filmed Entertainment primarily depends on the number of films produced, their distribution and marketing success, and consumer response. Filmed Entertainment also competes to obtain creative, performing and technical talent, including writers, actors, directors and producers, as well as scripts for films. We also compete with the other major studios and other producers of entertainment content for the exhibition of films in theaters and the distribution of films on premium networks, and with OTT service providers.
Theme Parks
Theme Parks competes with other multi-park entertainment companies as well as other providers of entertainment, lodging, tourism and recreational activities. To help maintain the competitiveness of our theme parks, we have invested and continue to invest significant amounts in existing and new theme park attractions, hotels and infrastructure, including the new theme parks in Beijing, China and Orlando, Florida.
Sky Segment
Sky competes with a broad range of companies engaged in media, entertainment and communications services in Europe, including cable operators, providers of both paid-for and free-to-air programming, service providers making use of new fiber optic networks, other satellite television providers, digital terrestrial television providers, telecommunications providers, other internet service providers, content aggregators, home entertainment products companies, companies developing new technologies and devices, and other suppliers and providers of news, information, sports and entertainment that deliver streaming, downloading and other online video services. Sky’s competitive position may be negatively impacted by an increase in the capacity of, or developments in, the means of delivery competitors use to provide their services as well as lowered prices, product innovations, new technologies or different value creation approaches. Sky also competes with organizations that are publicly funded, in whole or in part, to fulfill a public service broadcasting mandate.
Sky’s owned channels compete for the acquisition of programming content with a wide range of providers, particularly for sports programming, where the cost for such programming is significant.

 
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Advertising
Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television and Sky compete for the sale of advertising with other television networks and stations, as well as with all other advertising platforms, such as digital, radio and print media. The willingness of advertisers to purchase advertising from us may be adversely affected by lower audience ratings at the related networks, stations or channels. Declines in audience ratings can be caused by increased competition for the leisure time of viewers and by audience fragmentation resulting from the increasing number of entertainment choices available, including content from OTT service providers, online media and other digital sources. In addition, advertising revenue is adversely affected by the growing use of technologies, such as DVRs and video on demand services, which give consumers greater flexibility to watch programming on a time-delayed or on-demand basis or to fast-forward or skip advertisements within programming.
Seasonality and Cyclicality
Each of our businesses is subject to seasonal and cyclical variations. Cable Communications’ results are impacted by the seasonal nature of residential customers receiving our services in college and vacation markets. This generally results in fewer net customer relationship additions in the second quarter of each year.
Revenue and operating costs and expenses (comprised of total costs and expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization expense and other operating gains) are cyclical as a result of our periodic broadcasts of major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, which affect Cable Networks and Broadcast Television, and the Super Bowl, which affects Broadcast Television. In particular, advertising revenue increases due to increased demand for advertising time for these events and distribution revenue increases in the period of broadcasts of the Olympic Games. Operating costs and expenses also increase as a result of our production costs for these broadcasts and the amortization of the related rights fees.
Revenue in Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television and Sky is also subject to cyclical advertising patterns and changes in viewership levels. Advertising revenue in the U.S. is generally higher in the second and fourth quarters of each year and in even-numbered years due to increases in consumer advertising in the spring and in the period leading up to and including the holiday season and advertising related to candidates running for political office and issue-oriented advertising, respectively. Revenue in Cable Networks and Broadcast Television fluctuates depending on the timing of when our programming is aired, which typically results in higher advertising revenue in the second and fourth quarters of each year. Revenue at Sky has seasonally higher audience levels in winter months and increased competition during major sporting events where public service broadcasters lease the rights, such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World CupTM.
Revenue in Filmed Entertainment fluctuates due to the timing, nature and number of films released in movie theaters, on DVDs, and through various other distribution platforms. Release dates are determined by several factors, including competition and the timing of vacation and holiday periods. As a result, revenue tends to be seasonal, with increases experienced each year during the summer months and around the holiday season. Content licensing revenue in Cable Networks, Broadcast Television and Filmed Entertainment also fluctuates due to the timing of when our content is made available to licensees.
Revenue in Theme Parks fluctuates with changes in theme park attendance that result from the seasonal nature of vacation travel and weather variations, local entertainment offerings and the opening of new attractions, as well as with changes in currency exchange rates. Theme Parks generally experiences peak attendance during the spring holiday period, the summer months when schools are closed and the Christmas holiday season.
Sky results are impacted by the seasonal nature of residential customers receiving our DTH and OTT video services, including the start of the new soccer seasons and the Christmas holiday. This generally results in greater net customer relationship additions and higher subscriber acquisition costs in the second half of each year due to higher marketing expenses.
Exclusive sports rights, such as local European and UCL soccer, Formula 1, and English cricket, play a key role within Sky’s wider content strategy. In Europe, broadcasting rights for major sports are usually tendered through a competitive auction process, with the winning bidder or bidders acquiring rights over a three to five-year period. This creates some level of cyclicality for Sky, although the staggered timing of major sports rights auctions usually gives Sky time to react to any material changes in the competitive dynamics of the prevailing market. Certain of Sky’s significant sports rights agreements require payments at the start of each season, resulting in increases in sports rights payments in the third and fourth quarter of each year.

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Legislation and Regulation
The Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Communications Act”), and Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) regulations and policies affect significant aspects of our businesses that operate in the United States. These businesses are also subject to other regulation by federal, state and local authorities and to agreements we enter into with local cable franchising authorities. In addition, our international businesses are subject to the laws and the jurisdiction of the foreign regulatory authorities where they operate.
Legislators and regulators at all levels of government frequently consider changing, and sometimes do change, existing statutes, rules or regulations, or interpretations of existing statutes, rules or regulations, or prescribe new ones, any of which may significantly affect our businesses. These legislators and regulators have been active in considering rulemakings and legislation, at times looking to adopt regulatory approaches from different countries that may be more burdensome, and they, along with some state attorneys general and foreign governmental authorities, have also been active in conducting inquiries and reviews, regarding our services. In addition, regulators and the courts could adopt new interpretations of existing competition laws as new competition law theories emerge. Any future legislative, judicial, regulatory or administrative actions may increase our costs or impose additional restrictions on our businesses, some of which may be significant. The U.S. Congress may consider proposals to address communications issues, including whether it should rewrite the entire Communications Act to account for changes in the communications marketplace, whether it should enact new, permanent open internet requirements, and whether it should fund new broadband infrastructure. We are unable to predict the outcome or effects of any of these potential actions or any other legislative or regulatory proposals on our businesses.
The following paragraphs summarize the significant legal and regulatory requirements affecting our businesses, although reference should be made to the Communications Act, FCC regulations and other legislation and regulations for further information.
Cable Communications Segment
High-Speed Internet
We provide high-speed internet services to our customers. Many of these services are subject to a number of regulatory obligations or commitments described below. As an internet service provider (“ISP”), we are also subject to a requirement to implement certain network capabilities to assist law enforcement in conducting surveillance of persons suspected of criminal activity. From time to time, the FCC considers imposing new regulatory obligations on ISPs. In addition, states and localities may consider new broadband-related regulations, including those regarding government-owned broadband networks. New broadband regulations, if adopted, may have adverse effects on our businesses.
Open Internet Regulations
In 2017, the FCC reversed its prior classification of broadband internet access service as a Title II telecommunications service under the Communications Act and classified it as an “information service” under Title I. In addition, it eliminated its prior rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking access to lawful content; impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic on the basis of content, applications or services (“throttling”); prioritizing certain internet traffic in exchange for consideration (“paid prioritization”); and generally prohibiting ISPs from unreasonably interfering with or unreasonably disadvantaging consumers’ ability to access and use the lawful internet content, applications, services or devices of their choosing or unreasonably interfering with or disadvantaging edge providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services or devices available to consumers (“general conduct”). The FCC stated that jurisdiction to regulate ISP conduct would rest at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). In addition, the FCC revised the transparency rule to add a requirement that ISPs disclose any blocking and throttling practices, and any paid or affiliated prioritization practices associated with their broadband offerings. We have disclosed that we do not block, throttle, or engage in affiliated or paid prioritization, and have committed not to block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content. The FTC has authority to enforce these public commitments, and the FCC has authority to enforce compliance with its transparency rule.
The FCC’s 2017 decision was challenged, and in 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia largely upheld the FCC’s decision, including the classification of broadband as a Title I information service and repeal of its prior rules. However, it vacated the FCC’s express preemption of all state Open Internet laws, but noted that state laws may nevertheless be preempted on a case-by-case basis if those regulations conflict with federal law or policy. Parties have sought further review of the court’s opinion.
Several states have passed or introduced legislation, or have adopted executive orders, that impose Open Internet requirements in a variety of ways, and new state legislation may be introduced and adopted in the future. Certain of these state initiatives have been challenged in court, and additional challenges may be filed. Such attempts by the states to regulate have the potential to create a patchwork of differing and/or conflicting state regulations. Congress may also consider legislation addressing these regulations

 
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and the regulatory framework for broadband internet access services. We cannot predict whether or how the rules might be changed, the impact of potential new legislation or the outcome of any litigation.
Broadband Deployment/Infrastructure Initiatives
In 2018, the FCC adopted rules aimed at removing barriers to the deployment of broadband infrastructure, including the preemption of certain state and local laws or regulations that may unreasonably impede the deployment of wireless broadband networks. These orders are being challenged in federal court, and we cannot predict the outcome of the litigation. If the orders are upheld, some of these reforms may create regulatory imbalances that favor wireless services over wireline broadband services like our own. The FCC is currently considering additional measures that could result in further preemption of state and local laws or regulations as part of its broader efforts to accelerate wireless broadband infrastructure deployment. We cannot predict whether or how any FCC rules might be changed, how state or local laws or regulations may be impacted, or how such changes may affect our business.
Video
Program Carriage
FCC regulations prohibit us from unreasonably restraining the ability of an unaffiliated video programming network to compete fairly by discriminating against the network on the basis of its non-affiliation in the selection, terms or conditions for its carriage. In addition, cable operators and other multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) in the United States are prohibited from requiring as a condition of carriage a financial interest in, or exclusive distribution rights for, a video programming network. We have been involved in program carriage disputes at the FCC, and increasingly in the courts, and may be subject to new complaints in the future.
Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent
Cable operators are required to carry, without compensation, programming transmitted by most local commercial and noncommercial broadcast television stations. As an alternative to this “must-carry” requirement, local broadcast television stations may choose to negotiate with the cable operator for “retransmission consent,” under which the station gives up its must-carry rights and instead seeks to negotiate a carriage agreement with the cable operator, which frequently will involve payments to the station. We currently pay certain local broadcast television stations in exchange for their required consent for the retransmission of the stations’ broadcast programming to our video services customers and expect to continue to be subject to demands for increased payments and other concessions from local broadcast television stations. Failure to reach a retransmission consent agreement with a broadcaster could result in the loss of popular programming on our video services. For information on must-carry and retransmission consent issues relating to our broadcast television business, see “NBCUniversal Segments - Broadcast Television” below and refer to the “Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent” discussion within that section.
Pricing and Packaging
While the vast majority of our video services, including equipment and installation fees, are no longer subject to rate regulation by the FCC, certain state entities monitor and challenge the marketing and advertising of our services, and some have attempted to regulate the service packages we offer. We cannot predict the outcome of any current litigation with state entities or whether other states may pursue similar actions.
Franchising
Cable operators generally operate their cable systems under nonexclusive franchises granted by local or state franchising authorities. While the terms and conditions of franchises vary materially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, franchises typically last for a fixed term, obligate the franchisee to pay franchise fees and meet service quality, customer service and other requirements, and are terminable if the franchisee fails to comply with material provisions. Franchising authorities also may require adequate channel capacity, facilities and financial support for public, educational and governmental access programming, and other in-kind contributions. The Communications Act also contains provisions governing the franchising process, including renewal procedures designed to protect incumbent franchisees against arbitrary denials of renewal, including unreasonable renewal conditions. We believe that our franchise renewal prospects are generally favorable but cannot guarantee the future renewal of any individual franchise. The FCC adopted an order in 2019 that prohibits state and local authorities from imposing duplicative franchise and/or fee requirements on the provision of broadband and other non-cable services over franchised cable systems, and ruling that in-kind contributions are treated as franchise fees subject to the statutory cap on franchise fees of 5% of cable service revenue unless those contributions are expressly excluded by statute. The order has been appealed, and we cannot predict the outcome of this litigation.
Voice
We provide voice services using VoIP technology. The FCC has adopted a number of regulations for providers of nontraditional voice services such as ours, including regulations relating to privacy of customer proprietary network information, local number portability duties and benefits, disability access, E911, law enforcement assistance, outage reporting, Universal Service Fund

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contribution obligations, rural call completion, customer equipment back-up power, service discontinuance and certain regulatory filing requirements. The FCC has not yet ruled on whether VoIP services such as ours should be classified as an “information service” or a “telecommunications service” under the Communications Act. The classification determination is important because telecommunications services are regulated more extensively than information services. One federal court of appeals has held that VoIP is an information service and preempted state regulation of VoIP, but that ruling is limited to the seven states located in that circuit. State regulatory commissions and legislatures in other jurisdictions may continue to consider imposing regulatory requirements on our voice services as long as the regulatory classification of VoIP remains unsettled at the federal level.
Wireless
In 2017, we began offering a wireless voice and data service. We offer this service using our MVNO rights to provide the service over Verizon’s wireless network. MVNOs are subject to many of the same FCC regulations as facilities-based wireless carriers (e.g., E911 services, local number portability, etc.), as well as certain state or local regulations. The FCC or other regulatory authorities may adopt new or different regulations for MVNOs and/or mobile broadband providers in the future, which could adversely affect our wireless phone service offering or our business generally.
NBCUniversal Segments
Cable Networks
Program Access
The Communications Act and FCC regulations generally prevent cable networks affiliated with cable operators from favoring cable operators over competing MVPDs. The FCC and Congress have considered proposals that would require companies that own multiple cable networks to make each of their networks available individually when negotiating distribution agreements with MVPDs and potentially with online video distributors; Maine has enacted a law mandating retail a la carte distribution by cable operators that, if upheld by the courts, may have similar effects. We currently offer our cable networks both on a bundled basis and, when requested, individually. We have been involved in program access disputes at the FCC and may be subject to new complaints in the future.
Children’s Programming
Under federal regulations, the amount of commercial content that may be shown on cable networks, broadcast networks and broadcast television stations during programming originally produced and broadcast primarily for an audience of children 12 years of age and under is limited, and certain television station programming must serve the educational and informational needs of children 16 years of age and under.
Broadcast Television
Licensing
Local broadcast television stations may be operated only in accordance with a license issued by the FCC upon a finding that the grant of the license will serve the public interest, convenience and necessity. The FCC grants broadcast television station licenses for specific periods of time, which may be renewed with or without conditions. The FCC renewed all of our broadcast television station licenses without conditions during the last license renewal cycle; the next television license renewal cycle begins in 2020. Although our licenses have been renewed, there can be no assurance that we will always obtain renewal grants.
Ownership Restrictions
The Communications Act and FCC regulations impose certain limitations on local and national television ownership, as well as limits on foreign ownership in a broadcast television station. In addition, each of the four major broadcast television networks - ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC - is prohibited from being under common ownership or control with another of the four.
Must Carry/Retransmission Consent
Every three years, each commercial television station must elect for each cable system in its DMA either must carry or retransmission consent. A similar regulatory scheme applies to satellite providers. For the current three-year period, which commenced on January 1, 2018, all of our owned NBC broadcast television stations and our owned Telemundo broadcast television stations elected retransmission consent. The next three-year period will commence on January 1, 2021, with elections to be made by October 1, 2020.
Filmed Entertainment
Our filmed entertainment business is subject to “trade practice laws” in effect in 25 states and Puerto Rico relating to theatrical distribution of motion pictures. In countries outside the United States, a variety of existing or contemplated laws and regulations

 
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may affect our ability to distribute and license motion picture and television products, as well as consumer merchandise products. The ability of countries to deny market access or refuse national treatment to products originating outside their territories is regulated under various international agreements.
Theme Parks
Our theme parks are subject to various regulations in the United States and internationally, including laws and regulations regarding environmental protection, privacy and data protection, consumer product safety and theme park operations, such as health, sanitation, safety and fire standards, as well as liquor licenses.
Sky Segment
Sky is subject to regulation primarily under Austrian, German, Irish, Italian, U.K. and European Union (“EU”) law, including telecommunications and media-specific regulation described below, as well as regulation under generally applicable laws, such as competition, consumer protection, data protection and taxation. Sky is currently, and may be in the future, subject to proceedings or investigations from regulatory and antitrust authorities in the jurisdictions in which it operates. In addition, in connection with our acquisition of Sky, we have made certain legally binding commitments with respect to Sky’s operations, including for example, to maintain annual funding for Sky News in an amount no lower than Sky News’ 2017 fiscal year expenditures, as adjusted by inflation, until 2029.
Platform Services
In the U.K., Sky is required to ensure that agreements to provide its electronic program guide (“EPG”) and conditional access (“CA”) services to other programming providers are on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms, among other things, so that those providers’ content is available on Sky’s satellite platform via the EPG on Sky’s set-top boxes. Sky also has voluntarily committed to the U.K.’s communications regulator, the Office of Communications, or Ofcom, to provide access control services to third parties that enable them to provide interactive services. Sky is subject to similar EPG and CA obligations in Germany.
Television Channels
Sky holds a number of licenses and authorizations for its portfolio of pay TV channels. In the U.K., Sky is subject to various codes issued by Ofcom affecting the content and delivery of these channels. Sky also holds various nationwide broadcast licenses in Germany, Italy and Austria, and must comply with rules and regulations covering issues such as the acquisition and exploitation of sports rights, media concentration and plurality, television advertising, the protection of children, accessibility, airtime for commercials and teleshopping, sponsorship, and ensuring clear distinctions between program content and advertising.
High-Speed Internet and Voice
Sky provides broadband and voice services in the U.K. and Ireland pursuant to wholesale distribution agreements that third-party broadband and telecommunications companies either make available commercially or are required to make available under applicable laws in those jurisdictions. Material changes to these regulations could affect Sky’s business. Sky is also subject to EU open internet regulations, which prohibit the blocking, throttling, or discrimination of online content, applications, and services and require ISPs to disclose their traffic management, throughput limitations and other practices impacting quality of service in customer contracts.
Other Areas of Regulation
Intellectual Property
Copyright, trademark, unfair competition, patent, trade secret and other proprietary-rights laws of the United States and other countries help protect our intellectual property rights. In particular, unauthorized copying, distribution, and piracy of programming and films over the internet, through devices, software and websites, and through counterfeit DVDs, and other platforms, interfere with the market for copyrighted works and present challenges for NBCUniversal’s and Sky’s content businesses. We have actively engaged in the enforcement of our intellectual property rights and likely will continue to expend substantial resources to protect our content. Although many legal protections exist to combat such practices, the extent of copyright protection is ambiguous and the use of technological protections are controversial. Modifications to existing laws, a weakening of these protections or their enforcement, or a failure of existing laws, in the United States or internationally, to adapt to new technologies could have an adverse effect on our ability to license and sell our programming.
U.S. copyright laws also require that our video distribution business contribute a percentage of revenue to a federal copyright royalty pool in exchange for retransmitting copyrighted material in broadcast signals under a cable compulsory license and that we pay standard industry licensing fees for the public performance of music in the programs we create or distribute. The compulsory

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copyright license and the royalties we pay are subject to audits and possible regulatory and legislative changes that could impact the royalty fees we pay and our ability to retransmit broadcast signals over cable systems. In addition, the landscape for music licensing is constantly changing, and music fees we pay are subject to new fee demands and negotiations. We cannot predict how changes to the compulsory copyright license and music licensing will impact the fees that we pay.
Privacy and Data Security Regulation
Our businesses are subject to federal, state and other foreign laws and regulations that impose various restrictions and obligations related to privacy and the handling of consumers’ personal information. In the U.S., the Communications Act generally restricts cable operators’ nonconsensual collection and disclosure to third parties of cable customers’ personally identifiable information, except for rendering service, conducting legitimate business activities related to the service, and responding to legal requests. We are also subject to various state and federal regulations that provide privacy protections for customer proprietary network information related to our voice services.
The FTC generally exercises oversight of consumer privacy protections using its enforcement authority over unfair and deceptive acts or practices. We are also subject to stringent data security and data retention requirements that apply to website operators and online services directed to children 12 years of age and under, or that knowingly collect or post personal information from children 12 years of age and under.
In addition, certain states have enacted detailed laws establishing consumer privacy protections and data security requirements in their respective states. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) gives California residents new rights to receive certain disclosures regarding the collection, use, and sharing of “Personal Information,” as well as rights to access, delete, and restrict the sale of certain personal information collected about them. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, and compliance with that law will increase the cost of providing our services in California. More generally, the FTC and state attorneys general regularly initiate efforts to update or enforce transparency requirements about the collection and use of consumer information, which may require ongoing review of new and rapidly evolving technologies and methods for delivering content and advertising to ensure that appropriate notice is given to consumers and consent is obtained where required. Additionally, all 50 states have security breach notification laws that generally require a business to give notice to consumers and government agencies when certain information has been disclosed to an unauthorized party due to a security breach.
Certain of our businesses are subject to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which broadly regulates the processing of personal data collected from individuals in the EU. GDPR, and the Member States’ legislation implementing the GDPR affect our ability to process certain personal data.
Privacy and data security legislation remained a priority issue in 2019. Attempts by state and local governments to regulate consumer privacy have the potential to create a patchwork of differing and/or conflicting state regulations. Additionally, there are pending federal legislative proposals that, if enacted, could create new consumer privacy protections or impose new requirements on entities that collect and use consumer personal information, including us. We cannot predict whether such legislation will be enacted at the federal or state level and, if so, the impact of any such laws on our business.
FCC 5G Spectrum Proceedings and Other Wireless Laws and Regulations
In multiple regulatory proceedings, the FCC has established or is in the process of evaluating and potentially modifying its rules to make available additional spectrum that will likely be used for new 5G services. Cable Communications and NBCUniversal use some of this spectrum to provide our services and there is a risk that certain proposed rule changes could affect our ability to use such spectrum and could disrupt certain operations. We cannot predict what rules or legislation, if any, will ultimately be adopted or how any such changes would affect our businesses.
State and Local Taxes
Some states and localities have imposed or are considering imposing, through both legislative and administrative channels, new or additional taxes or fees on, or limiting or eliminating incentives or credits earned or monetized by, the businesses operated by our Cable Communications and NBCUniversal segments, or imposing adverse methodologies by which taxes, fees, incentives or credits are computed, earned or monetized. These include combined reporting or other changes to general business taxes, central assessments for property tax and taxes and fees on the businesses operated or services provided by our Cable Communications and NBCUniversal segments. In some situations, DBS providers and other competitors that deliver their services over a high-speed internet connection do not face the same state tax and fee burdens. Congress has also considered, and may consider again, proposals to bar or limit states from imposing taxes on these DBS providers or other competitors that are equivalent to the taxes or fees that we pay. The Internet Tax Freedom Act (“ITFA”), which prohibits most states and localities from imposing sales and other taxes on our internet access charges, was made permanent by 2016 legislation; however, some jurisdictions may challenge the ITFA or the application of the ITFA to our business, or may assert that certain taxes akin to right-of-way fees are not preempted by the ITFA.

 
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U.K. Exit from the European Union
The telecommunications and media regulatory framework applicable to Sky and NBCUniversal’s businesses in the U.K. and the EU may be subject to greater uncertainty upon the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU. We cannot predict the extent of any potential changes to the regulatory framework involving U.K. and EU regulation of telecommunications and media, or changes to certain mutual recognition arrangements for media and broadcasting.
Other Regulations
U.S. states and localities, and various regulatory authorities actively regulate other aspects of our businesses, including accessibility to our video and voice services and broadcast television programming for people with disabilities, customer service standards, inside wiring, cable equipment, pole attachments, universal service fees, public safety, telemarketing, leased access, indecency, loudness of commercial advertisements, advertising, political broadcasting, Emergency Alert System, equal employment opportunity and other employment-related laws, environmental-related matters, regulatory fees and technical standards relating to the operation of cable systems and television stations. In addition, our international businesses are subject to various international regulations, including those that cover television broadcasting, programming and advertising. We are occasionally subject to enforcement actions and investigations at the FCC and other federal, state and local agencies, as well as foreign governments and regulatory authorities, which can result in us having to pay fines or being subject to other sanctions.
Employees
As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately 190,000 full-time and part-time employees calculated on a full-time equivalent basis. Of these employees, approximately 88,000, 66,000 and 34,000 were associated with Cable Communications, NBCUniversal and Sky, respectively. We also use freelance and temporary employees in the normal course of our business.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
The SEC encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand a company’s future prospects and make informed investment decisions. In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we state our beliefs of future events and of our future financial performance. In some cases, you can identify these so-called “forward-looking statements” by words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “believes,” “estimates,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of these words, and other comparable words. You should be aware that these statements are only our predictions. In evaluating these statements, you should consider various factors, including the risks and uncertainties listed in “Risk Factors” and in other reports we file with the SEC.
Additionally, we operate in a highly competitive, consumer-driven and rapidly changing environment. This environment is affected by government regulation; economic, strategic, political and social conditions; consumer response to new and existing products and services; technological developments; and, particularly in view of new technologies, the ability to develop and protect intellectual property rights. Our actual results could differ materially from our forward-looking statements as a result of any of such factors, which could adversely affect our businesses, results of operations or financial condition. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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Item 1A: Risk Factors
Our businesses operate in highly competitive and dynamic industries, and our businesses and results of operations could be adversely affected if we do not compete effectively.
All of our businesses operate in intensely competitive, consumer-driven and rapidly changing environments and compete with a growing number of companies that provide a broad range of communications products and services and entertainment, news and information content to consumers. OTT service providers continue to proliferate, complicating the competitive landscape by influencing consumer behavior and challenging existing business models, which is discussed in more detail in the risk factor immediately below.
For example:
Competition for Cable Communications’ video, high-speed internet and voice services consists primarily of phone companies with fiber-based networks and DBS providers that typically offer features, pricing and packaging for services comparable to ours. Sky faces competition for its video, high-speed internet and voice services from cable and telecommunications providers in its European markets, many of which offer customers bundled services, which has increased competition. Increasingly, additional companies, some with significant financial resources or fewer regulatory burdens, have entered, or are seeking to enter, the video distribution market by offering OTT streaming services or selling devices that aggregate viewing of various OTT services. Many OTT service providers offer smaller packages of channels or subscriptions to access programming at price points lower than our standard packages or for free, which adversely affects demand for Cable Communications’ and Sky’s traditional DTH video services, including for expanded video packages, premium networks, and DVR and On Demand services.
Cable Communications’ and Sky’s high-speed internet services compete primarily against phone companies with fiber-based networks offering speeds and pricing comparable to ours. Wireless internet services, such as 4G and 5G wireless broadband services, satellite-delivered internet services and Wi-Fi networks, and devices such as smartphones, tablets, wireless data cards, and mobile and fixed wireless routers that connect to such services, also may compete with our high-speed internet services, particularly as wireless technology evolves. Some municipalities in the United States own and operate their own broadband networks and additional municipalities may do so in the future.
NBCUniversal and Sky face substantial and increasing competition from providers of similar types of content, as well as from other forms of entertainment and recreational activities.
NBCUniversal and Sky must compete to obtain talent, content and other resources required to operate their businesses. This competition has intensified as OTT service providers seek to develop high-quality programming to attract viewers.
For a more detailed description of the competition facing our businesses, see Item 1: Business and refer to the “Competition” discussion within that section.
Consolidation of, or cooperation between, our competitors, including suppliers and distributors of content, may increase competition in all of these areas. For example, consolidation or cooperation between phone companies (which are also wireless distributors) and content providers may allow competitors to offer free or lower cost streaming services, potentially on an exclusive basis, through unlimited data-usage plans for internet or wireless phone services.
The ability of our businesses to compete effectively also depends on our perceived image and reputation among our various constituencies, including our customers, consumers, advertisers, employees, investors and government authorities. Our ability to compete will be negatively affected if we do not provide our customers with a satisfactory customer experience.
While we continue to seek ways to enhance the value of our businesses, such as by growing high-speed internet services and business services and by investing in new theme parks and Peacock, there can be no assurance that we can execute on these and other initiatives in a manner sufficient to grow or maintain our revenue or operating margins or to compete successfully in the future. There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete effectively against existing or new competitors or that competition will not have an adverse effect on our businesses.
Changes in consumer behavior driven by online video distribution platforms for viewing content continue to adversely affect our businesses and challenge existing business models.
Distribution platforms for viewing and purchasing content over the internet have been, and will likely continue to be, developed that further increase the number of competitors that all our businesses face and challenge existing business models. These distribution platforms have driven, and will continue to drive, changes in consumer behavior as consumers seek more control over when, where and how they consume content and access communications services, and how much they pay for such content.

 
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Consumers are increasingly turning to online sources for viewing and purchasing content, which is reducing the number of Cable Communications’ video customers and subscribers to NBCUniversal’s cable networks even as it makes Cable Communications’ high-speed internet services more important to consumers. These changing consumer behaviors also are occurring in Europe, as more of Sky’s new video customers have recently subscribed, and may continue to subscribe, to Sky’s OTT video service instead of its traditional DTH video service. Although we have attempted to adapt our video service offerings and enhance our high-speed internet services for changing consumer behaviors, for example, by deploying the X1 and Sky Q platforms and Flex, which can more easily aggregate linear and OTT programming choices for our customers, the continuing trend of OTT service providers delivering their content directly to consumers over the internet rather than through, or in addition to, traditional video distribution services continues to disrupt traditional video distribution business models.
The increase in OTT service providers also has significantly increased the number of entertainment choices available to consumers, which has intensified audience fragmentation and disaggregated the way that content traditionally has been distributed and viewed by consumers. Time-shifting technologies, such as DVR and on demand services, also reduce the viewing of content through traditional and virtual multichannel video providers, which has caused and likely will continue to cause audience ratings declines for our programming channels. Reduced ratings may adversely affect the price and amount of advertising that advertisers are willing to purchase from us and the amount that we receive for distribution of our content. In addition, as more programming providers offer their content directly to consumers, they may reduce the quantity and quality of the programming they license to NBCUniversal or Sky’s programming channels.
Our failure to effectively anticipate or adapt to emerging competitors or changes in consumer behavior, including among younger consumers, and shifting business models could have an adverse effect on our competitive position, businesses and results of operations.
A decline in advertisers’ expenditures or changes in advertising markets could negatively impact our businesses.
Cable Communications, NBCUniversal and Sky compete for the sale of advertising time with other television networks and stations, as well as with all other advertising platforms, such as digital media, radio and print. We derive substantial revenue from the sale of advertising, and a decline in expenditures by advertisers, including through traditional linear television distribution models, could negatively impact our results of operations. Declines can be caused by the economic prospects of specific advertisers or industries, increased competition for the leisure time of viewers, such as from social media and video games, audience fragmentation, increased viewing of content through OTT service providers, regulatory intervention regarding where and when advertising may be placed, or economic conditions generally. In addition, advertisers have increasingly shifted their expenditures to digital media and their willingness to purchase advertising from us may be adversely affected by lower audience ratings, which many of NBCUniversal’s networks and some of Sky’s television channels have experienced and likely will continue to experience. Advertising sales and rates also are dependent on the methodology used for audience measurement and could be negatively affected if methodologies do not accurately reflect actual viewership levels. For example, certain methods of viewing content, such as through OTT services or delayed viewing through DVR or on demand services, might not be counted in audience measurements or may generate less, if any, revenue than traditional linear television distribution methods, which could have an adverse effect on our advertising revenue.
Our businesses depend on keeping pace with technological developments.
Our success is, to a large extent, dependent on our ability to acquire, develop, adopt and leverage new and existing technologies, and our competitors’ use of certain types of technology and equipment may provide them with a competitive advantage. For example, current and new wireless internet technologies such as 4G and 5G wireless broadband services continue to evolve rapidly to allow for greater speed and reliability, and some companies and municipalities are building advanced fiber-based networks that provide very fast internet access speeds. We expect other advances in communications technology to occur in the future. If we choose technology or equipment that is not as effective or attractive to consumers as that employed by our competitors, if we fail to employ technologies desired by consumers before our competitors do so, or if we fail to execute effectively on our technology initiatives, our businesses and results of operations could be adversely affected. We also will continue to incur additional costs as we execute our technology initiatives, such as the deployment of Flex and Sky Q set-top boxes and wireless gateways. There can be no assurance that we can execute on these and other initiatives in a manner sufficient to grow or maintain our revenue or to compete successfully in the future. We also may generate less revenue or incur increased costs if changes in our competitors’ product offerings require that we offer certain services or enhancements at a lower or no cost to our customers or that we increase our research and development expenditures.

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We are subject to regulation by federal, state, local and foreign authorities, which impose additional costs and restrictions on our businesses.
In the United States, federal, state and local governments extensively regulate the high-speed internet, video and voice services industries. Our broadcast television business is also highly regulated by U.S. laws and regulations. NBCUniversal’s other businesses are also subject to various other laws and regulations at the international, federal, state and local levels. Sky’s business is subject to various telecommunications and media-specific regulations where it operates. The FCC, FTC and certain state attorneys general and foreign governmental authorities also have been active in conducting inquiries and reviews regarding our services, and this trend likely will continue. In addition, regulators and the courts could adopt new interpretations of existing competition laws as new competition law theories emerge. Failure to comply with the laws and regulations applicable to our businesses could result in administrative enforcement actions, fines, and civil and criminal liability.
Legislators and regulators at all levels of government, including foreign authorities, frequently consider changing, and sometimes do change, existing statutes, rules or regulations, or interpretations of existing statues, rules or regulations, or prescribe new ones, any of which may address communications and other issues that could significantly affect our businesses. These legislators and regulators have been active in considering legislation and rulemakings regarding our services, at times looking to adopt regulatory approaches from different countries that may be more burdensome. For example, some states have passed or introduced legislation or executive orders that impose various open internet and data privacy requirements. Such attempts by the states to regulate portions of our businesses have the potential to create a patchwork of differing and/or conflicting state regulations. These requirements and any future legislative, judicial, regulatory or administrative actions may increase our costs or impose additional restrictions on our businesses, some of which may be significant. We are unable to predict the outcome or effects of any of these potential actions or any other legislative or regulatory proposals on our businesses. Any changes to the legal and regulatory framework applicable to any of our services or businesses could have an adverse impact on our businesses and results of operations. For a more extensive discussion of the significant risks associated with the regulation of our businesses, see Item 1: Business and refer to the “Legislation and Regulation” discussion within that section.
Programming expenses for our video services are increasing, which could adversely affect Cable Communications’ and Sky’s video businesses.
We expect programming expenses for our video services to continue to be the largest single expense item for our Cable Communications and Sky segments and to increase for the foreseeable future. Our programming expenses may also increase as we add programming to our video services or distribute existing programming to more of our customers or through additional delivery platforms, such as on demand or streaming services. Additionally, Cable Communications pays certain local broadcast television stations in exchange for their required consent for the retransmission of broadcast network programming to video services customers; we expect to continue to be subject to increasing demands for payment and other concessions from local broadcast television stations. These market factors may be exacerbated by increased consolidation in the media industry, which may further increase our programming expenses. If we are unable to raise our customers’ rates or offset programming cost increases through the sale of additional services or cost management initiatives, the increasing cost of programming could have an adverse effect on our Cable Communications and Sky segments’ results of operations.
Moreover, as our contracts with content providers expire, there can be no assurance that they will be renewed on acceptable terms, if renewed at all, in which case we may be unable to provide such content as part of Cable Communications’ or Sky’s video services, and our businesses and results of operations could be adversely affected.
NBCUniversal’s and Sky’s success depends on consumer acceptance of their content, and their businesses may be adversely affected if their content fails to achieve sufficient consumer acceptance or the costs to create or acquire content increase.
NBCUniversal and Sky create and acquire media and entertainment content, the success of which depends substantially on consumer tastes and preferences that change in often unpredictable ways. The success of these businesses depends on our ability to consistently create, acquire, market and distribute television programming, filmed entertainment, theme park attractions and other content that meet the changing preferences of the broad domestic and international consumer markets. We have invested, and will continue to invest, substantial amounts in our content, including in the production of original content at NBCUniversal and Sky, in our films and for new theme parks and theme park attractions, before learning the extent to which they will earn consumer acceptance. We also are incurring significant costs to develop Peacock, and there can be no assurance that consumers and advertisers will embrace this offering.
NBCUniversal and Sky also obtain a significant portion of their content from third parties, such as movie studios, television production companies, sports organizations and other suppliers, sometimes on an exclusive basis. Competition for popular content, particularly for sports programming, is intense, and we may have to increase the price we are willing to pay or be outbid by our competitors for popular content. We also may be unable to license popular third-party content for NBCUniversal’s and Sky’s

 
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Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


programming channels if media companies launch successful OTT services for their owned content such that they forgo license fees from us and only provide their content directly to consumers.
Entering into or renewing contracts for such programming rights or acquiring additional rights may result in significantly increased costs. Particularly with respect to long-term contracts for sports programming rights for NBCUniversal and Sky, our results of operations and cash flows over the term of a contract depend on a number of factors, including the strength of the advertising market, audience size, the timing and amount of rights payments, and the ability of NBCUniversal to secure distribution from, impose surcharges on, or obtain carriage on multichannel video providers. There can be no assurance that revenue from these contracts will exceed our costs for the rights, as well as the other costs of producing and distributing the programming. If our content does not achieve sufficient consumer acceptance, or if we cannot obtain or retain rights to popular content on acceptable terms, or at all, NBCUniversal’s and Sky’s businesses may be adversely affected.
The loss of programming distribution and licensing agreements, or the renewal of these agreements on less favorable terms, could adversely affect our businesses.
NBCUniversal’s cable networks depend on their ability to secure and maintain distribution agreements with traditional and virtual multichannel video providers. The number of subscribers to NBCUniversal’s cable networks has been, and likely will continue to be, reduced as a result of fewer subscribers to multichannel video providers. Sky also depends on its ability to secure and maintain wholesale distribution agreements for its television channels with multichannel video providers.
Increasingly, NBCUniversal and Sky are entering into agreements to license their prior season and library content on other distribution platforms, including OTT services. If this programming does not attract sufficient viewers, traditional and virtual multichannel video providers may not distribute NBCUniversal’s or Sky’s programming, and OTT services may not license programming NBCUniversal or Sky creates. In addition, we expect not to license certain popular content, and we may decide not to license additional popular content that we own, to third parties so we may offer it exclusively through Peacock, which would result in foregone licensing revenue.
NBCUniversal’s broadcast television networks depend on their ability to secure and maintain network affiliation agreements with third-party local broadcast television stations in the markets where it does not own the affiliated local broadcast television station. In addition, every three years, each of its owned local broadcast television stations must elect, with respect to its retransmission by multichannel video providers within its DMA, either “must-carry” status, in which the distributor’s carriage of the station is mandatory and does not generate any compensation for the local station, or “retransmission consent,” in which the station gives up its right to mandatory carriage and instead seeks to negotiate the terms and conditions of carriage with the distributor, including the amount of compensation, if any, paid to the station by such distributor. For the current three-year period, which commenced on January 1, 2018, all of our owned NBC broadcast television stations and our owned Telemundo broadcast television stations elected retransmission consent. However, certain illegal online entities may stream our broadcast television content online without our consent and without paying any compensation to us.
There can be no assurance that any of these agreements will be entered into or renewed in the future on acceptable terms. The inability to enter into or renew these agreements could reduce our revenues and the reach of our programming, which could adversely affect NBCUniversal’s and Sky’s businesses.
Less favorable telecommunications access regulations, the loss of Sky’s transmission agreements with satellite or telecommunications providers or the renewal of these agreements on less favorable terms could adversely affect Sky’s businesses.
Sky relies on various third-party telecommunications providers to deliver its video, high-speed internet, voice and wireless phone services to its customers. For example, Sky relies on satellites leased from third parties to provide most of its video services. In addition, pursuant to the current regulatory regimes in the U.K. and Italy, Sky is able to access networks owned by third-party telecommunications providers to offer its high-speed internet and phone services, in most cases, on regulated terms, including price. If there is a change in regulation in the U.K, Italy or other markets where Sky accesses networks owned by third-party telecommunications providers, the regulated terms could become less favorable. Moreover, while Sky is able to receive wholesale fiber access on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, pricing terms are not regulated. As a result, if Sky is unable to enter into or renew its transmission agreements with satellite or telecommunications operators on commercially reasonable terms or if these operators were to terminate their agreements, Sky may be unable to deliver some of its services to customers in one or more of the countries in which it operates, which would adversely affect Sky’s businesses and results of operations.
We rely on network and information systems and other technologies, as well as key properties, and a disruption, cyber attack, failure or destruction of such networks, systems, technologies or properties may disrupt our businesses.
Network and information systems and other technologies, including those related to our network management, customer service operations, and programming delivery, and technology embedded in our products and services, are critical to our business activities.

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


23
 


Cyber threats and attacks are directed at both known and newly discovered software and hardware vulnerabilities and are constantly evolving, which increases the difficulty of detecting and successfully defending against them. Cyber threats and attacks can have cascading impacts that unfold with increasing speed across networks, information systems and other technologies. Network, information systems and technology-related events, including those caused by us, such as process breakdowns, security architecture or design vulnerabilities, or by third parties, such as computer hackings, cyber attacks, computer viruses, worms or other destructive or disruptive software, denial of service attacks, malicious social engineering or other malicious activities, or power outages, natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks or other similar events, could result in a degradation or disruption of our products and services, excessive call volume to call centers, theft or misuse of our intellectual property or other assets, a reduction in demand for our theme parks, disruption of the security of our internal systems and products and services or satellite transmission signals, the compromise of confidential or technical business information or damage to our equipment, data, properties and reputation. In addition, severe weather events such as hurricanes and wild fires have impacted our services, products and properties from time to time in the past and will in the future. The occurrence of these events may result in large expenditures to repair or replace the damaged properties, products, services, networks or information systems to protect them from similar events in the future, and any such events could lead to litigation or otherwise have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
In addition, we obtain certain confidential, proprietary and personal information about our customers, personnel and vendors, and in some cases provide this information to third parties, in connection with our business. While we generally obtain assurances that these third parties will protect this information, there is a risk that this information may be compromised. Any security breaches, such as misappropriation, misuse, leakage, falsification or accidental release or loss of information maintained in our third-party’s information technology systems, including customer, personnel and vendor data, could damage our reputation and require us to expend significant capital and other resources to remedy any such security breach, could lead to litigation or could cause regulators to impose fines or other remedies for failure to comply with relevant customer privacy rules.
The risk of systems-related events and security breaches occurring continues to intensify in many of our businesses, and our businesses may be at a disproportionately heightened risk of these events occurring, due to the nature of our businesses and because we maintain certain information necessary to conduct our business in digital form. In the ordinary course of our business, there are frequent attempts by third parties to cause such systems-related events and security breaches and to identify our security architecture or system design vulnerabilities. While we develop and maintain systems, and operate an extensive security program, seeking to prevent systems-related events and security breaches from occurring, the development, maintenance and operation of these systems and programs is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies change and efforts to overcome security measures become more sophisticated and evolve rapidly. Despite our efforts to prevent these events and security breaches, we have experienced systems-related events and breaches in the past, and there can be no assurance that they will not occur in the future or will not have an adverse effect on our businesses. Moreover, the amount and scope of insurance we maintain against losses resulting from any such events or security breaches likely would not be sufficient to cover our losses or otherwise adequately compensate us for any disruptions to our business that may result, and the occurrence of any such events or security breaches could have an adverse effect on our business.
Our businesses depend on using and protecting certain intellectual property rights and on not infringing the intellectual property rights of others.
We rely on our intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as licenses and other agreements with our vendors and other third parties, to use various technologies, conduct our operations and sell our products and services. Legal challenges to our intellectual property rights and claims of intellectual property infringement by third parties could require that we enter into royalty or licensing agreements on unfavorable terms, incur substantial monetary liability, or be enjoined preliminarily or permanently from further use of the intellectual property in question, from importing into the United States or other jurisdictions in which we operate hardware that uses such intellectual property or from the continuation of our businesses as currently conducted. We may need to change our business practices if any of these events occur, which may limit our ability to compete effectively and could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Even if we believe any such challenges or claims are without merit, they can be time-consuming and costly to defend and divert management’s attention and resources away from our businesses. Moreover, if we are unable to obtain or continue to obtain licenses from our vendors and other third parties on reasonable terms, our businesses could be adversely affected.
In addition, intellectual property constitutes a significant part of the value of NBCUniversal’s and Sky’s businesses, and their success is highly dependent on protecting the intellectual property rights of the content they create or acquire against third-party misappropriation, reproduction or infringement. The unauthorized reproduction, distribution or display of copyrighted material negatively affects our ability to generate revenue from the legitimate sale of our content, as well as from the sale of advertising in connection with our content, and increases our costs due to our active enforcement of our intellectual property rights.
Piracy and other unauthorized uses of content are made easier, and the enforcement of intellectual property rights more challenging, by technological advances that allow the conversion of programming, films and other content into digital formats, which facilitates

 
24
Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


the creation, transmission and sharing of high-quality unauthorized copies. In particular, piracy of programming and films through unauthorized distribution platforms continues to present challenges for NBCUniversal’s cable networks, broadcast television and filmed entertainment businesses. It also presents similar challenges for Sky’s businesses, including as a result of illegal retransmission of sports events. While piracy is a challenge in the United States, it is particularly prevalent in many parts of the world that lack developed copyright laws, effective enforcement of copyright laws and technical protective measures like those in effect in the United States. If any U.S. or international laws intended to combat piracy and protect intellectual property rights are repealed or weakened or are not adequately enforced, or if the legal system fails to adapt to new technologies that facilitate piracy, we may be unable to effectively protect our rights, the value of our intellectual property may be negatively impacted and our costs of enforcing our rights may increase.
We may be unable to obtain necessary hardware, software and operational support.
We depend on third-party vendors to supply us with a significant amount of the hardware, software and operational support necessary to provide certain of our products and services. Some of these vendors represent our primary source of supply or grant us the right to incorporate their intellectual property into some of our hardware and software products. While we actively monitor the operations and financial condition of key vendors in an attempt to detect any potential difficulties, there can be no assurance that we would timely identify any operating or financial difficulties associated with these vendors or that we could effectively mitigate our risks with respect to any such difficulties. If any of these vendors experience operating or financial difficulties, if our demand exceeds their capacity or if they breach or terminate their agreements with us or are otherwise unable to meet our specifications or provide the equipment, products or services we need in a timely manner (or at all), or at reasonable prices, our ability to provide some products or services may be adversely affected and we may incur additional costs.
Weak economic conditions may have a negative impact on our businesses.
A substantial portion of our revenue comes from customers whose spending patterns may be affected by prevailing economic conditions. Weak economic conditions in the United States or globally could adversely affect demand for any of our products and services and have a negative impact on our results of operations. For example, customers may reduce the level of services to which they subscribe, or may discontinue subscribing to one or more of Cable Communications’ or Sky’s services. This risk may be increased by the expanded availability of free or lower cost competitive services, such as OTT video services, or substitute services for high-speed internet and voice services, such as mobile phones and Wi-Fi networks. Weak economic conditions also negatively impact our advertising revenue, the performance of our films and home entertainment releases, and attendance and spending in our theme parks.
Weak economic conditions and disruption in the global financial markets may also have an impact on the ability of third parties to satisfy their obligations to us or increase our exposure to currency fluctuations in countries where we operate. In addition, in connection with our acquisition of Sky, we incurred and assumed a significant amount of additional debt. If our businesses are negatively impacted by weak economic conditions, we may not be able to reduce the amount of our debt outstanding as quickly as expected. Further, a significant increase in interest rates or disruption in the global financial markets may affect our ability to obtain financing or to refinance existing debt on acceptable terms, if at all, and could increase the cost of our borrowings.
Acquisitions and other strategic initiatives present many risks, and we may not realize the financial and strategic goals that we had contemplated.
From time to time, we make acquisitions and investments and may pursue other strategic initiatives, including our 2018 acquisition of Sky and the development of Peacock and new theme parks. In connection with such acquisitions and strategic initiatives, we may incur significant or unanticipated expenses, fail to realize anticipated benefits and synergies, have difficulty incorporating an acquired or new line of business, disrupt relationships with current and new employees, customers and vendors, incur significant debt, or have to delay or not proceed with announced transactions or initiatives. Additionally, federal regulatory agencies such as the FCC or DOJ or international regulators may impose restrictions on the operation of our businesses as a result of our seeking regulatory approvals for any significant acquisitions and strategic initiatives or may dissuade us from pursing certain transactions. The occurrence of any of these events could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We face risks relating to doing business internationally that could adversely affect our businesses.
We operate our businesses worldwide. There are risks inherent in doing business internationally, including global financial market turmoil; economic volatility and global economic slowdown; currency exchange rate fluctuations and inflationary pressures; the requirements of local laws and customs relating to the publication and distribution of content and the display and sale of advertising; import or export restrictions, tariffs and trade regulations; difficulties in developing, staffing and managing foreign operations; issues related to occupational safety and adherence to diverse local labor laws and regulations; and potentially adverse tax developments. Although we employ foreign currency derivative instruments to hedge certain exposure to foreign currency exchange rate risks, including the British pound and Euro, the use of such derivative instruments may not be sufficient to mitigate exchange

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


25
 


rate fluctuations. Sky’s businesses in particular are also subject to risks relating to uncertainties and effects of the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU (referred to as “Brexit”), including financial, legal, tax and trade implications. In addition, doing business internationally subjects us to risks relating to political or social unrest, as well as corruption and government regulation, including U.S. laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, that impose stringent requirements on how we conduct our foreign operations. If any of these events occur or our conduct does not comply with such laws and regulations, our businesses may be adversely affected.
Unfavorable litigation or governmental investigation results could require us to pay significant amounts or lead to onerous operating procedures.
We are subject from time to time to a number of lawsuits both in the United States and in foreign countries, including claims relating to competition, intellectual property rights (including patents), employment and labor matters, personal injury and property damage, customer privacy, regulatory requirements, advertising, marketing and selling practices, and credit and collection issues. Greater constraints on the use of arbitration to resolve certain of these disputes could adversely affect our business. We also spend substantial resources complying with various regulatory and government standards, including any related investigations and litigation. We may incur significant expenses defending any such suit or government charge and may be required to pay amounts or otherwise change our operations in ways that could adversely impact our businesses, results of operations or financial condition.
Labor disputes, whether involving employees or sports organizations, may disrupt our operations and adversely affect our businesses.
Many of NBCUniversal’s employees, including writers, directors, actors, technical and production personnel and others, as well as some of our on-air and creative talent employees, are covered by collective bargaining agreements or works councils. Most of NBCUniversal’s collective bargaining agreements are industry-wide agreements, and we may lack practical control over the negotiations and terms of the agreements. If we are unable to reach agreement with a labor union before the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement, our employees who were covered by that agreement may have a right to strike or take other actions that could adversely affect us, which could disrupt our operations and reduce our revenue, and the resolution of any disputes may increase our costs. There can be no assurance that we will renew our collective bargaining agreements as they expire or that we can renew them on favorable terms or without any work stoppages.
In addition, our cable networks and broadcast television networks have programming rights agreements of varying scope and duration with various sports organizations to broadcast and produce sporting events, including certain NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB games. Labor disputes in these and other sports organizations could have an adverse effect on our businesses.
The loss of key management personnel or popular on-air and creative talent could have an adverse effect on our businesses.
We rely on certain key management personnel in the operation of our businesses. While we maintain long-term and emergency transition plans for key management personnel and believe we could either identify internal candidates or attract outside candidates to fill any vacancy created by the loss of any key management personnel, the loss of one or more of our key management personnel could have a negative impact on our businesses.
In addition, NBCUniversal and Sky depend on the abilities and expertise of on-air and creative talent. If we fail to attract or retain on-air or creative talent, if the costs to attract or retain such talent increase materially, if we need to make significant termination payments, or if these individuals cause negative publicity or lose their current appeal, our businesses could be adversely affected.
Our Class B common stock has substantial voting rights and separate approval rights over several potentially material transactions, and our Chairman and CEO has considerable influence over our company through his beneficial ownership of our Class B common stock.
Our Class B common stock has a non-dilutable 33 1/3% of the combined voting power of our Class A and Class B common stock. This non-dilutable voting power is subject to proportional decrease to the extent the number of shares of Class B common stock is reduced below 9,444,375, which was the number of shares of Class B common stock outstanding on the date of our 2002 acquisition of AT&T Corp.’s cable business, subject to adjustment in specified situations. Stock dividends payable on the Class B common stock in the form of Class B or Class A common stock do not decrease the non-dilutable voting power of the Class B common stock. The Class B common stock also has separate approval rights over several potentially material transactions, even if they are approved by our Board of Directors or by our other shareholders and even if they might be in the best interests of our other shareholders. These potentially material transactions include mergers or consolidations involving us, transactions (such as a sale of all or substantially all of our assets) or issuances of securities that require shareholder approval, transactions that result in any person or group owning shares representing more than 10% of the combined voting power of the resulting or surviving corporation, issuances of Class B common stock or securities exercisable or convertible into Class B common stock, and amendments to our articles of incorporation or by-laws that would limit the rights of holders of our Class B common stock. Brian L. Roberts, our chairman and CEO, beneficially owns all of the outstanding shares of our Class B common stock and, accordingly,

 
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Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


has considerable influence over our company and the potential ability to transfer effective control by selling the Class B common stock, which could be at a premium.
Item 1B: Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2: Properties
We believe that substantially all of our physical assets were in good operating condition as of December 31, 2019. Our corporate headquarters and Cable Communications segment headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at One Comcast Center. We own 80% interests in entities whose primary assets are the Comcast Center and the Comcast Technology Center, which is adjacent to the Comcast Center and is a center for Cable Communications’ technology and engineering workforce, as well as the home of our NBCUniversal and Telemundo owned local broadcast stations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Construction of the Comcast Technology Center was completed in 2019. We also have leases for numerous business offices, warehouses and properties throughout the United States that house divisional information technology operations.
Cable Communications Segment
Our principal physical assets consist of operating plant and equipment, including cable system signal receiving, encoding and decoding devices, headends and distribution networks. Our distribution network consists primarily of headends, content distribution servers, coaxial and fiber-optic cables, lasers, routers, switches and related electronic equipment. Our cable plant and related equipment generally are connected to utility poles under pole rental agreements with local public utilities, although in some areas the distribution cable is buried in underground ducts or trenches. The physical components of cable systems require periodic maintenance and replacement.
Our cable system signal reception sites, which consist primarily of antenna towers and headends, and our microwave facilities are located on owned and leased parcels of land, and we own or lease space on the towers on which certain of our equipment is located. We own most of our service vehicles.
Our high-speed internet network consists of fiber-optic cables owned or leased by us and related equipment. We also operate national and regional data centers with equipment that is used to provide services, such as email and web services, to our high-speed internet and voice customers, as well as cloud services to our video customers. In addition, we maintain network operations centers with equipment necessary to monitor and manage the status of our services and network.
We own or lease buildings throughout the U.S. that contain customer service call centers, retail stores and customer service centers, warehouses and administrative space. We also own a building that houses our digital media center. The digital media center contains equipment that we own or lease, including equipment related to network origination, video transmission via satellite and terrestrial fiber-optics, broadcast studios, post-production services and interactive television services.
NBCUniversal Segments
NBCUniversal’s corporate headquarters are located in New York, New York at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and include offices and studios, which are used by Headquarters and Other and the Cable Networks and Broadcast Television segments. NBCUniversal owns substantially all of the space it occupies at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. NBCUniversal also leases space in 10 Rockefeller Plaza which includes The Today Show studio, production facilities and offices used by the Broadcast Television segment. Telemundo’s leased headquarters and production facilities are located in Miami, Florida and are used by the Broadcast Television segment and Headquarters and Other. The Universal City owned location in California includes offices, studios, and theme park and retail operations which are owned by NBCUniversal and used by all NBCUniversal segments. Our owned CNBC headquarters and production facilities and disaster recovery center are located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey and are used by the Cable Networks and Broadcast Televisions segments and Headquarters and Other. We also own or lease offices, studios, production facilities, screening rooms, retail operations, warehouse space, satellite transmission receiving facilities and data centers in numerous locations in the United States and around the world, including property for our owned local broadcast television stations. In addition, we own theme parks and own or lease related facilities in Orlando, Florida; Hollywood, California; and Osaka, Japan, which are used in the Theme Parks segment, and are currently constructing new theme parks in Beijing, China and Orlando, Florida.

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


27
 


Sky Segment
Sky’s principal physical assets consist of operating plant and equipment, including leased satellite system signal receiving, encoding and decoding devices, and owned and leased headends and distribution networks, including coaxial, fiber-optic cables and other related equipment. In the U.K., Sky uses a combination of its own core fiber network and wholesaling arrangements over third-party telecommunication providers’ networks as the core network and also accesses the “last mile” network from third-party network operators for a fee to provide its services to customers. The physical components of cable systems require periodic maintenance and replacement.
Sky’s corporate headquarters are located in Middlesex, U.K. Sky owns the space it occupies at Middlesex. Sky leases the Sky Deutschland headquarters located in Unterföhring, Germany and the Sky Italia headquarters located in Milan, Italy.
Additionally, Sky owns and leases offices, production facilities and studios, broadcasting facilities, and customer support centers throughout Europe, including in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Italy and Austria.
Other
The Wells Fargo Center, a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that we own was the principal physical operating asset of our other businesses as of December 31, 2019.
Item 3: Legal Proceedings
Refer to Note 17 to Comcast’s consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of recent developments related to our legal proceedings.
NBCUniversal is subject to legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of its business and it does not expect the final disposition of these matters to have a material adverse effect on its results of operations, cash flows or financial condition, although any such matters could be time-consuming and costly and could injure its reputation.
Item 4: Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.

 
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Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


Part II
Item 5: Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Comcast’s Class A common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol CMCSA. There is no established public trading market for Comcast’s Class B common stock. The Class B common stock can be converted, on a share for share basis, into Class A common stock. 
Dividends Declared
2019
 
2018
Month Declared:
Dividend Per Share
 
Month Declared:
Dividend Per Share

January
$
0.21

 
January
$
0.19

May
$
0.21

 
May
$
0.19

July
$
0.21

 
July
$
0.19

October (paid in January 2020)
$
0.21

 
October (paid in January 2019)
$
0.19

Total
$
0.84

 
Total
$
0.76

We expect to continue to pay quarterly dividends, although each dividend is subject to approval by our Board of Directors. In January 2020, our Board of Directors approved a 10% increase in our dividend to $0.92 per share on an annualized basis.
Holders of Class A common stock in the aggregate hold 662/3% of the voting power of our common stock. The number of votes that each share of Class A common stock has at any given time depends on the number of shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock then outstanding, with each share of Class B common stock having 15 votes per share. The Class B common stock represents 331/3% of the combined voting power of our common stock, which percentage is generally non-dilutable under the terms of our articles of incorporation. Mr. Brian L. Roberts beneficially owns all outstanding shares of Class B common stock. Generally, including as to the election of directors, holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock vote as one class except where class voting is required by law.
Record holders as of December 31, 2019 are presented in the table below.
Stock Class
Record
Holders

Class A Common Stock
388,600

Class B Common Stock
3

 
There were no common stock repurchases during 2019. Effective January 1, 2017, our Board of Directors increased our share repurchase program authorization to $12 billion, which does not have an expiration date. As of December 31, 2019, $2 billion remained under our share repurchase program authorization. Common stock repurchases referenced above exclude shares withheld upon the vesting or exercise of employee share-based awards to settle tax withholding obligations.

Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


29
 


Stock Performance Graph
Comcast
The following graph compares the annual percentage change in the cumulative total shareholder return on Comcast’s Class A common stock during the five years ended December 31, 2019 with the cumulative total returns on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index and a select peer group consisting of us and other companies engaged in the cable, communications and media industries. This peer group consists of our Class A common stock and the common stock of DISH Network Corporation (Class A), Charter Communications, Inc., AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., CenturyLink, Inc., T-Mobile US, Inc., and Sprint Corporation (the “transmission and distribution subgroup”); and The Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS Inc. (Class B) (formerly CBS Corporation (Class B)), Viacom Inc. (Class B) (which is included through December 4, 2019 when it merged with CBS Corporation to form ViacomCBS Inc.), Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (Class A) (which is included through March 21, 2019 when it merged with the Walt Disney Company) and Discovery, Inc. (Class A) (the “media subgroup”).
The peer group is constructed as a composite peer group in which the transmission and distribution subgroup is weighted 66% and the media subgroup is weighted 34% based on the respective revenue of our transmission and distribution and media businesses. The comparison assumes $100 was invested on December 31, 2014 in our Class A common stock and in each of the following indices and assumes the reinvestment of dividends.
Comparison of 5 Year Cumulative Total Return
https://cdn.kscope.io/ed3fdd048e42edae9a5887602c342c99-chart-d13228d975f750048aa.jpg

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Comcast Class A
$
99

$
124

$
145

$
127

$
170

S&P 500 Stock Index
$
101

$
113

$
138

$
132

$
174

Peer Group Index
$
102

$
127

$
133

$
123

$
161

NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal is a wholly owned subsidiary of NBCUniversal Holdings and there is no market for its equity securities.

 
30
Comcast 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K


Item 6: Selected Financial Data
Comcast
Year ended December 31 (in millions, except per share data)
2019(c)
2018(c)

2017(d)

2016

2015

Statement of Income Data





Revenue
$
108,942

$
94,507

$
85,029

$
80,736

$
74,510

Operating income
21,125

19,009

18,018

16,831

15,998

Net income attributable to Comcast Corporation(a)
13,057

11,731

22,735

8,678

8,163

Basic earnings per common share attributable to Comcast Corporation shareholders
2.87

2.56

4.83

1.80

1.64

Diluted earnings per common share attributable to Comcast Corporation shareholders
2.83

2.53

4.75

1.78

1.62

Dividends declared per common share
0.84

0.76

0.63

0.55

0.50

Balance Sheet Data (at year end)
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
$
263,414

$
251,684

$
187,462

$
181,017

$
166,574

Long-term debt(b)
102,217

111,743

64,556

61,046

52,621

Comcast Corporation shareholders’ equity
82,726

71,613

68,616

53,932

52,269

Statement of Cash Flows Data
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in):
 
 
 
 
 
Operating activities
$
25,697

$
24,297

$
21,261

$
19,691

$
19,485

Investing activities
(14,841
)