CBS Corp. said third quarter profit dropped around 35% as investments in new series for its linear and digital outlets and costs associated with its pending merger with Viacom Inc. overcame increases in revenue during the period.
The New York owner of the CBS television network and the Showtime premium-cable service is expected to merger with corporate sibling Viacom – both are controlled by the Redstone family through the movie-exhibition company, National Amusements Inc. – in December.
CBS said third-quarter net income came to $319 million, or 85 cents a share, compared with $488 million, or $1.29 a share, in the year-earlier period. CBS’ adjusted profit, came to 95 cents a share. Revenue rose 1%, to about $3.3 billion.
Operating income tumbled to $501 million, compared with $690 million in the previous period, weighed down by costs of new programming and items associated with the pending Viacom tie-up.
CBS continues to “increase our investment in our premium content and direct-to-consumer streaming services, which is the cornerstone of our growth strategy,” said CBS CEO Joseph Ianniello, in a prepared statement.
During a call with investors, Ianniello said CBS planned to bolster its streaming-video offerings, with live soccer matches slated to be included in the company’s subscription service, “CBS All Access,” and free video-streaming channels slated to debut on Pluto, the ad-supported streaming hub operated by Viacom. A formal announcement of the latter is scheduled for as soon as Wednesday, the executive said.