NEW YORK — While newspapers and magazines struggle for ads and readers, the TV business appears to be better than ever. The CBS Corporation reported record third-quarter revenues of $3.4 billion and net income of $478 million.
“CBS is clearly knocking the cover off the ball, including revenue and profit growth across every one of our operating segments,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation in a statement. “Our premium content continues to be the driving force behind our success, starting with the CBS Television Network, which kicked off another terrific season as the #1 network, with the #1 new drama, Bull, and the #1 new comedy, Kevin Can Wait. With ownership in all of our new fall shows, we have once again positioned our Company to monetize additional content across all platforms for years to come. This includes content licensing and distribution, which benefited from a 40% increase in streaming revenue during the third quarter. It also includes affiliate and subscription fees, where retransmission consent and reverse compensation grew 32% during the quarter, and where we continue to see rapid growth in our subscription streaming services, CBS All Access and Showtime OTT. Meanwhile, advertising remains strong and is accelerating here in the fourth quarter as our new upfront pricing kicks in and political spending is ramping up nicely. Looking ahead to the separation of our radio business, we see additional opportunities to return value to shareholders and invest in our core content business. So we feel extremely good about our future, and we are confident we have set ourselves up to succeed under any scenario.”
Revenues for the third quarter of 2016 increased 4% to $3.40 billion from $3.26 billion for the same prior-year period. The growth was led by a 32% increase in retransmission revenues and fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations as well as growth from digital distribution platforms. Content licensing and distribution revenues increased 6%, driven by growth in domestic television licensing sales. Advertising revenues during the third quarter were affected by 10 hours of primetime preemptions for Democratic and Republican conventions and the first Presidential debate as well as competition from the 2016 Summer Olympics, while advertising benefited from higher political spending.
CBS’s businesses include the CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Interactive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia.