CBS Profit Falls 24% Despite Revenue Punch From Boxing

CBS Corp. said it would take a $55 million charge for restructuring related to its local radio and TV stations in a cost-cutting move even as it disclosed that an outsize boxing event on its Showtime pay-cable outlet drove revenue in its second quarter.

The New York-based owner of the CBS television network said profit in the second quarter came to $332 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with $439 million, or 76 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, representing a drop of 24% in profit. Excluding charges related to restructuring and other items,  earnings from continuing operations were 74 cents a share.

Revenue climbed just 1%, to $3.22 billion, compared with $3.19 billion a year ago, boosted by a 19% increase in cable network sales related to customers buying Showtime to gain access to the landmark boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Operating income at the company’s large entertainment unit, which includes the broadcast network, came to $262 million compared with $341 million in the year-earlier period, owing to what the company said was lower revenue and higher investment in programming and digital distribution.
Revenue in the division totaled $1.79 billion, compared with $1.84 billion in the year-earlier quarter. CBS said ad revenue fell 2%.
Operating income at its cable networks rose to $220 million compared with $213 million in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 19% to $615 million from the $516 million achieved in the year-earlier quarter.
In a conference call with investors, CBS executives vowed to focus on deriving more revenue from retransmission and aftermarket sales of its content. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said the recent upfront market was not robust across the industry. The company said it expected to surpass a goal of accruing $2 billion in
retransmission consent and reverse compensation revenue by 2020.

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