CBS Corp. said net income rose in the third quarter when compared to adjusted results, boosted in part by subscription and affiliate fees, even as overall revenue dipped slightly.
The New York owner of the Showtime cable network and the CBS broadcast-television network said third-quarter profit rose 6.5% to $426 million, or 88 cents a share, compared with $1.6 billion, or $3.08 a share a year earlier when the company notched substantial gains resulting from the sale of its outdoor-advertising business. Net earnings from continuing operations in the year-earlier period were $72 million, or 13 cents a share.
Revenue fell 3.3% to $3.26 billion from $3.37 billion, due to lower advertising and content licensing revenue.
During a conference call Tuesday, CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said the company was poised to benefit from what he said was an active market for TV advertising. Moonves said CBS had held back inventory in the most recent “upfront” market, and could sell it for higher “scatter” pricing.
He also indicated CBS was prepared to develop additional original programming for its on-demand broadband “CBS All Access” service. The company announced Monday it was developing a new “Star Trek” series that would run only on “All Access” after getting a debut on the company’s broadcast network.
“I’m confident this is going to be a world-class effort that will make all ‘Star Trek’ fans very proud,” said Moonves. “These are some of the most passionate fans in the world, and we can see millions of them joining All Access, where they can watch these new episodes wherever they want and whenever they want and on whatever device they want to use, which is increasingly consistent with how younger viewers are watching our shows.”
At the company’s largest division, which includes its TV-broadcasting business, revenue rose 1% to $1.93 billion, compared with $1.91 billion in the year-earlier period, owing to a 55% increase in affiliate and subscription fees. Advertising revenues at the CBS network rose 1% despite the broadcast of fewer sporting events in the period compared with the year-earlier quarter.
Revenue for the third quarter at the company’s cable operations came to $526 million, compared with $624 million in the year-earlier quarter. ,The company cited comparisons with the year-earlier quarter, when it had higher revenue from pay-per-view boxing events.