CBS Revenues Inch Up, Ad Revenue Aided by NFL, Politics

“Thursday Night Football” and midterm elections are a winning combination for Q3 2014

Last Updated: November 5, 2014 @ 1:29 PM

CBS enjoyed a small bump in earnings for its third quarter of 2014, inching up 2 percent from the same period last year to $3.4 billion.

The company’s adjusted diluted earnings per share also saw growth, climbing 6 percent to $.74.

The growth in revenue was driven by a 4 percent increase in content licensing and and distribution revenues. There was also a two percent increase in advertising revenues, which was spurred largely by the network’s recently launched “Thursday Night Football.” Political ads in this year of midterm elections also contributed to the company’s boost in ad revenue.

CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves credited the company’s content — and its ability to monetize that content — for the revenue growth.

“Our third quarter growth reflects the success of our efforts to create and monetize our premium content,” Moonves said. “I am particularly pleased with the CBS Television Network’s encouraging start to the fall season, which has reloaded our owned content pipeline in a big way with ‘Madam Secretary,’ ‘Scorpion,’ and ‘NCIS: New Orleans,’ along with new owned hits from Showtime and The CW. Our local businesses had a strong quarter as well, including increasing political spending and higher retransmission consent fees. Also during the quarter, we renegotiated new station affiliate contracts with LIN Media, Tribune Broadcasting, Media General, and Gray Television with more to come later this year, bringing us that much closer toward our stated goal of $2 billion in retransmission consent and reverse compensation revenues by 2020. We are also capitalizing on growing consumer demand by expanding into emerging platforms. This includes the recent launch of CBS All Access, which allows our ‘super fans’ to watch CBS wherever they are. At the same time, we are returning more value to shareholders than ever before, and we continue to have great confidence in our future as a content company in this ever-expanding marketplace.”

Compared to the same period last year, CBS Corp.’s adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization was down 2 percent, the result of of deeper investments in programming, mainly associated with new NFL contracts.

An earnings call is scheduled for 1:30 PT. TheWrap will update with relevant information from the call.