Viacom said net earnings fell in its third fiscal quarter as its TV networks posted flat revenue and its filmed-entertainment operations suffered from the lack of big releases in the period.
The New York owner of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central said it reported adjusted net earnings of $591 million, a 4% drop from the $618 million it collected in the year-earlier period.
Revenue fell 11% to $3.06 billion, compared with $3.42 billion in the year-earlier quarter.
The company said revenue at its movie business fell 44% due to comparisons with film releases in the year-earlier quarter. In last year’s third quarter, Viacom released the latest “Transformers” blockbuster, but in 2015, big summer releases like “Terminator: Genisys” and “Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation” did not get wide release until the company’s fiscal fourth quarter. Operating income fell 13% in the division.
Revenue at the company’s TV networks rose by just $6 million, and that was owing to fees from distributors. The company said U.S. advertising revenue fell 9% due to declines in TV ratings. Worldwide ad revenue fell 2%.
In a statement, the company pointed to the promise of some recently-launched programs, including “Lip Sync Battle” on Spike and “Scream” on MTV. Viacom also cited the coming launch of “Minority Report,” a new drama on Fox, from its Paramount Television unit.
During a conference call with investors, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said Paramount Pictures will expand its annual release slate to 15 movies in 2016. A bevy of sequels are in the unit’s pipeline, including new iterations of “Transformers,” “Jack Reacher” and “Zoolander.”