CBS TV, Radio Show Declines in Q4


Leslie-MoonvesIt all starts with the CBS Television Network where the division is number one in all viewer demographics.

So said CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves, who’s now chairman of the company, in addition to his previous titles of President and Chief Executive Officer.

In his first earnings call since gaining the new title, he thanked Chairman Emeritus Sumner Redstone, who was said to be listening in and Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone.

The company reported fourth quarter revenues of $3.9 billion for 2015, up 65 and an “all-time high,” according to Moonves.

He credited the Super Bowl with increasing local television ads rates 45% from three years ago; in fact advertising is starting out strong for 2016, in part thanks to a strong scatter market in 2015.

Retransmission consent and reverse compensation are set to hit $1 billion in 2016 — a year earlier than expected.

The company is positioning itself to deliver content on all platforms, so in additional to over-the-air broadcast, CBS will be part of traditional and skinny bundles, streaming and on-demand. In fact, Moonves credited new over-the-top services with boosting the company’s revenues, saying “These new subscription services are bringing in younger audiences at economics that are good for us.”

Local broadcasting revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $719 million compared with $785 million in the same prior-year period. CBS Television Stations revenues declined 11%, as 2014 benefited from strong political spending associated with midterm elections. Growth in affiliate and subscription fees partially offset the decline. CBS Radio revenues were down 5%, reflecting continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising.

Local broadcasting operating income for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $232 million compared with $292 million for the same prior-year period, primarily reflecting the lower revenues.