By Nick Butler

NBC's coverage of Sochi 2014 has been partly attributed for the rise in quarterly income ©Comcast CorporationApril 22 - Comcast Corporation has partly attributed a 30 per cent rise in first-quarter net income to the advertising revenue generated by NBC's coverage of Sochi 2014. 

Comcast, the largest cable company in the United States with 22 million video customers and 21.1 million online, enjoyed a rise in net income to $1.87billion (£1.1 billion/€1.4 billion), over the three-month period ending March 31.

This was up from a similar rise of $1.44bn (£858 million/€1 billion) over the same period last year, an increase better than forecast in Wall Street estimates.

It is thought Olympic broadcast rights boosted NBC revenue by $1.1 billion (£655 billion/€798 billion), thus accounting for 13 per cent of these improved levels, although some of this was offset by higher programming and production costs necessitated by the Games.

Among the companies to book advertising space during the Games were Olympic TOP sponsors Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and Visa, as well as United State Olympic Committee backers AT&T, BMW, BP, Citibank and Liberty Mutual.

NBCs successful coverage of Sochi 2014 helped contribute to the rising viewing figures ©NBCUniversal/Getty ImagesNBCs successful coverage of Sochi 2014 helped contribute to the rising viewing figures ©NBCUniversal/Getty Images

NBC has held US broadcasting rights of the Summer Olympics since Seoul 1988, and for the Winter Olympics since Salt Lake City 2002.

In 2011, a $4.38 billion (£3.2 billion/€2.6 billion) contract was signed with the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the Olympics through to Tokyo 2020, the most expensive television rights deal in Olympic history

During this time, the coverage has been subject to some criticism, particularly for the lack of attention given to the Paralympic Games, as well as the perseverance of tape-delayed coverage in order to meet a prime-time, rather than a live, audience. 

Comcast Corporation owns NBCUniversal and operates cable channels including the Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network.