CBS Corp. unveiled its first-quarter financial results today in a conference call with investors, with boss Leslie Moonves touting strong results even though year-ago comparisons were tough given that the earlier period included Super Bowl 50.
“The company said first-quarter revenue fell to $3.34 billion in the first quarter, compared with nearly $3.59 billion in the year-earlier period,” Variety reports. “CBS broadcast Super Bowl 50 and an additional NFL game in the first quarter of 2016. Advertising revenue at its entertainment operations fell 23%, fueled by the loss of Super Bowl revenue.”
The sale of the CBS Radio unit also weighed down results for the first quarter.
“The New York-based owner of the CBS broadcast network and Showtime reported Thursday a net loss of $252 million in its first quarter, which included a non-cash charge of $715 million to account for the drop in the share price of Entercom Communications Corp. in the weeks since CBS set a deal to sell its radio operations to that company,” Variety notes. “That agreement is expected to close in the third quarter. Excluding that and other items, net income from continuing operations rose 3% to $454 million, or $1.09 a share, compared with $442 million, or 95 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.”
The company said subscription fees were up 17% in the period to $842 million, while content licensing and distribution revenue climbed 16% to $845 million.