CBS Corporation reported a 3% increase in revenues for the third quarter. The company owns the CBS broadcasting network, half of the CW Network, publisher Simon & Schuster, and cable networks Showtime and CBS Sports Network.
Revenues for the third quarter of 2017 increased 3% to $3.17 billion from $3.08 billion for the same prior-year period. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues were up 52%, led by Showtime Networks’ distribution of the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor pay-per-view boxing event, 27% higher retransmission revenues and fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations, and growth from new digital initiatives, including the Company’s owned streaming subscription services. Content licensing and distribution revenues were down 22%, mainly due to the timing of domestic television licensing sales. Advertising revenues decreased 5%, driven by lower political advertising sales.
“Our solid third-quarter results demonstrate the way we are shifting our business to capitalize on changing viewing habits,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “To that point, during the quarter we saw dramatic growth in our affiliate and subscription fees, including revenue from traditional and skinny bundles as well as over-the-top viewing. Today we have more subscribers at CBS and at Showtime than we did a year ago, and best of all, newer digital platforms are resulting in more revenue per subscriber than traditional ones. So not only are we growing our subs, but we are growing our rates as well. Our over-the-top services had a particularly strong third quarter, thanks to the exciting launch of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access and the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor pay-per-view event on Showtime. Of course, premium content is also driving our success at the CBS Television Network, where we are once again #1 this season, with two of the top three new shows, including Young Sheldon, which premiered as the #1 show on television overall. In addition, for the first time, the majority of our upfront deals this fall are based on viewing over a seven day-period, which means that we are now beginning to monetize millions of viewers we were not getting credit for a year ago. So from our new OTT services to the monetization of delayed viewing, and from our burgeoning international business to rapid increases in retrans and reverse comp, we are just beginning to capitalize on significant growth areas for the future.”