Sports programming and a big boost in retransmission consent and affiliate fees helped drive CBS to its best quarterly results ever, with revenue up 6% to $4.04 billion.
Advertising revenue rose 8% in the quarter to $2.4 billion, driven by Super Bowl XLVII on the CBS broadcast network. Affiliate and subscription fee revenue rose 14%, driven by a 62% rise in retransmission consent fees and growth at its cable networks.
Operating income before depreciation and amortization rose 15% to $916 million and net earnings of $463 million (73 cents per share) were 17.5% better than the $394 million (59 cents per share) tallied last year.
“Across key financial measures—including revenue, OIBDA, operating income, and EPS—this was the most successful quarter in our Company’s history,” said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement. “The value of our world-class content clearly continues to rise. In terms of big-event television, we had tremendous success during the quarter with the Super Bowl, the GRAMMYs, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and more recently, the Academy of Country Music Awards. And our primetime lineup continues to dominate as well. The CBS Television Network is poised to win the season across all demographics, putting us in a very strong position as we prepare to unveil our new primetime lineup at the Upfront later this month. In the weeks that follow, we’ll be selling our schedule into an advertising marketplace that continues to improve, and we expect to once again lead the competition in pricing and volume.”
CBS is scheduled to hold a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly results at 4:30 p.m.