CBS Profit Is Better Than Expected

This July 18, 2017 image released by CBS show host Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." The CBS "Late Show" host scored his largest margin of victory since his debut week nearly two years ago for shows that featured segments filmed during his recent trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg. (Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via AP)
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS — AP

CBS, owner of the most-watched U.S. TV network, on Monday reported a bigger-than-expected profit and revenue for the second quarter, driven by higher content licensing and subscription fees.

The company also posted a rise in advertising sales, which accounts for about 40% of total revenue.

Advertising sales rose 4.3% to $1.3 billion in the quarter from a year earlier, boosted by the broadcast of the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

CBS has focused on boosting revenue from its subscription streaming service such as CBS All Access, and from licensing its shows to other streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

CBS, which owns cable channel Showtime and publishing house Simon & Schuster, said affiliate and subscription fees revenue – which includes revenue from cable TV operators and from its own streaming content – rose 15.7% in the latest quarter.

Content licensing and distribution revenues increased nearly 12%.

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The New York-based company has signed content licensing deals with Hulu, Verizon and Alphabet‘s Google to carry its networks on their services.

The company announced a content license deal with AT&T’s DirectTV Now earlier on Monday.

The company’s net income from continuing operations rose to $397 million, or 97 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $373 million, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, CBS reported a profit of $1.04 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 98 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

CBS, home to shows such as The Big Bang Theory and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, said revenue rose 9.4% to $3.26 billion.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.09 billion.

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