(Recasts throughout; adds details from analyst call, byline,
By Jessica Toonkel
NEW YORK May 4 CBS Corp's on Thursday
posted quarterly revenue and profit which beat analysts'
estimates as the most-watched U.S. TV network benefited from
higher content licensing and subscription fees.
For the first quarter ended March 31, the New York-based
media company, which is home to the popular series "The Big Bang
Theory" and "Homeland," reported a 16 percent jump in revenue
from content licensing and distribution.
Affiliate and subscription revenue - which include revenue
from cable TV operators and from its own streaming content - was
up 16.6 percent.
But advertising sales, which account for half of the
company's total revenue, dropped 23 percent to $1.6 billion from
a year earlier, when the broadcaster's results included popular
events such as the 50th anniversary of the National Football
League's Super Bowl championship and an extra NFL playoff game.
CBS anticipates its retransmission consent and reverse
compensation - which is the revenue from distributors and
broadcast affiliates - to increase about 25 percent this year,
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told investors on an analyst call on
The company, which also owns cable television's Showtime, is
anticipating continued affiliate revenue growth at a time when
the pay TV industry just reported its worst-ever subscriber loss
for the first quarter.
"We are not being affected in any way by any changes in
subscription numbers throughout the industry," Moonves said on
CBS shares were up 1.8 percent at $65 in extended trading on
Subscription and retransmission fees help the company offset
fluctuations in advertising revenue, which can vary from quarter
to quarter, depending on events.
The company said it is also focused on owning more of its
content to help control costs and monetize it more effectively.
CBS owns 16 of the 19 shows it is renewing this season.
CBS has also signed content licensing deals with Hulu,
Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google
to carry the network on its planned web TV service.
Excluding one-time items, CBS reported quarterly profit
from continuing operations of $1.04 per share, beating analysts'
average estimate of 95 cents, according to Thomson Reuters
Net income from continuing operations rose to $454 million,
or $1.09 per share, in the first quarter from $442 million, or
95 cents per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue fell to $3.34 billion from $3.59
billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.27
(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel, additional reporting by
Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, G