Q1 Revenues Up 11 Percent at CBS Corporation


CBS Corporation reported first-quarter revenues of $4.17 billion, an 11-percent increase on the year-ago period, lifted in part by an 18-percent boost in ad revenues.

Net earnings were $1.58 billion, compared with $511 million a year ago.

“CBS has once again grown across all of our key financial metrics while continuing to invest in our future as a global multiplatform premium content company,” said Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO. “We delivered higher profits and achieved double-digit revenue growth, helped in part by Super Bowl LIII and strong increases in affiliate and subscription fee revenues. At a time when others are losing subscribers, our total number of subs across traditional MVPDs, virtual MVPDs and our direct-to-consumer services once again grew strongly during the quarter. In fact, our direct-to-consumer subs grew 71 percent from last year, and we are seeing strong growth here in the second quarter thanks to premium original series such as The Twilight Zone on CBS All Access and Billions on Showtime. At the same time, we also continue to produce more and more content for a variety of buyers, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix, which will debut the critically acclaimed Dead to Me from CBS Television Studios tomorrow. Plus, in two weeks we’ll be unveiling a whole new lineup of hit shows on the number one broadcast network—and most-powerful platform in the business—the CBS Television Network. Given our company’s strong programming pipeline and our early-mover advantage in direct-to-consumer, we feel very confident about CBS’ leadership position in a media landscape that values must-have content above all else.”

Ad revenues rose to $2 billion, an 18-percent gain. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues rose 13 percent to $1.1 billion, led by growth in the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming services and retransmission revenues, including from virtual MVPDs. Content licensing and distribution revenues slipped to $963 million.

The entertainment segment (including CBS Television Network, CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group and Network 10, among other assets), reported revenues that were 15 percent higher, at $3.18 billion, with ad revenues up 19 percent. Cable networks revenues fell 3 percent to $552 million, primarily reflecting the benefit to 2018 from the renewal of a domestic licensing sale of Dexter.