NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In December, Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC unit showcased a live performance of the popular musical The Sound of Music on broadcast television. And, despite some critical griping, it was a big success. Now NBC has announced that it will produce another live musical, Peter Pan Live, to air in December 2014. The launch of these musicals will make for an exciting fiscal 2014 for NBC.
Peter Pan Live will be run by executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the same duo behind The Sound of Music Live. That huge television event, starring country music singer Carrie Underwood, had 18.6 million viewers in its premiere and an impressive 22 million when DVR figures were counted through the following three days. The Sound of Music Live also became one of the most tweeted television events, with plenty of praise and scorn alike. The huge viewership gave NBC its biggest Thursday night since the ER finale in 2009.
Along with high viewership numbers from The Sound of Music Live, Comcast also saw nice advertising revenue through a partnership with Wal-Mart (WMT). The television event also saw CDs, DVDs, and international rights sold to increase the overall revenue take.
Comcast's television unit had a poor start to fiscal 2013. But 2014 is looking like it will be a strong year. Through the first nine months of 2013, Comcast had reported $17.2 billion in revenue for its NBC Universal business segment, which includes the NBC brand, several cable channels, a film studio and theme parks. The broadcast cable segment saw revenue fall 21.1% in the first nine months, due to unfavorable comparable numbers from the prior year's Summer Olympics and Super Bowl. The broadcast television segment should get a big boost with the airing of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Peter Pan has been popular on Broadway and television before. A 1955 staged live broadcast saw 65 million viewers, which was at the time the most watched television event ever. The Peter Pan brand has seen recent relevance in the children's television market with Jake and the Neverland Pirates, a show on the Disney Channel (DIS). The show features Peter Pan himself, Captain Hook and Smee, and has turned into a nice licensing brand through toys and consumer products for Disney. Warner Brothers (TWX) is also hoping to capitalize on the Peter Pan brand with Pan, a 3D movie launching in June of 2015.
Analysts see Comcast's revenue increasing 6.5% in fiscal 2014. They also see earnings per share hitting $2.88. Comcast shares are at 52-week highs, and may present a great story with strong television numbers in fiscal 2014. If the Winter Olympics are successful, expect analysts to start boosting full-year figures.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
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