CBS Reports Lower Revenues in Q4


NEW YORK: While 2016 as a whole delivered revenue gains for CBS Corporation, the company posted a slightly weaker Q4 as advertising and content licensing revenues fell.

“2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS that came in above $4 for the first time in our company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead,” said Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. “We are already exceeding our projections to generate billions of dollars in incremental revenue, thanks to our new, fast-growing revenue sources and the strength of our base business. At the CBS Television Network, we are on track to be number one for the ninth year in a row and 14 out of the past 15 years. And with ownership in more than 80 percent of our prime-time lineup, the opportunities to monetize our hit shows across platforms and around the world have never been better. Meanwhile, annual revenue from retransmission consent and reverse compensation has already exceeded $1 billion, a full year ahead of schedule, and continues to grow rapidly. We are also taking advantage of the emergence of digital MVPDs through recent deals with Hulu and others at improved economic terms. Plus, our over-the-top subscription streaming services are contributing more meaningfully to our results all the time, and we have yet to launch The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access and Twin Peaks on Showtime OTT here in 2017. In addition, we recently announced a deal to split-off our radio business in the best possible way through a tax-free transaction with Entercom. When completed, this transaction will allow us to focus even more on our core content strength and enable our faster-growing revenue to drive our results like never before. Across the board, our strategy of creating the best content, and distributing it in all the ways consumers want it, continues to position CBS to succeed no matter how the world changes.”

In Q4, revenues slipped from $3.59 billion to $3.52 billion, with affiliate and subscription fee revenues up by 13 percent to $770 million, while ad revenues fell by 3 percent to $1.8 billion and content licensing and distribution revenues decreased to $893 million. The company reported a net loss of $113 million, citing impairment charges at CBS Radio and a one-time pension settlement charge.

For the full year, meanwhile, revenues rose by 4 percent to $13.17 billion, with ad revenues up 8 percent and affiliate and subs revenues up 9 percent. Content licensing and distribution revenues decreased 6 percent. Net earnings dropped from $1.4 billion to $1.26 billion.