CBS reports 9.4 percent rise in quarterly revenue

Media & Advertising Reuters

(Reuters)

CBS Corp (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.

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

Advertising sales rose 4.3 percent 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 Inc (NFLX.O) 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 percent in the latest quarter.

Content licensing and distribution revenues increased nearly 12 percent.

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The New York-based company has signed content licensing deals with Hulu, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) to carry its networks on their services.

The company announced a content license deal with AT&T Inc's (T.N) 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 percent to $3.26 billion.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.09 billion.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza