Viacom reported earnings from continuing operations of $535 million, or $1.33 a share, compared with $396 million, or $1 a share, in the year-earlier period.
The New York owner of MTV, Nickelodeon and the Paramount movie studio said revenue fell 7.6% to $3.07 billion, compared with $3.32 billion in the year-earlier period. The chief factor in the drop appears to be a reduction in the fees the company collects from U.S. cable and satellite distributors.
Media Networks revenues decreased 1% to $2.56 billion in the quarter, as a 1% increase in advertising revenues to $1.31 billion was more than offset by a 4% decrease in affiliate revenues to $1.09 billion. Domestic revenues declined 6% to $1.93 billion while international revenues grew 18% to $631 million.
Domestic advertising revenues decreased 5% to $937 million, reflecting lower linear impressions partially offset by higher pricing, as well as growth in digital advertising revenue. International advertising revenues increased 22% to $371 million. Excluding a 5-percentage point favorable impact from foreign exchange, international advertising revenues increased 17%, principally due to a 10-percentage point favorable impact from the acquisition of Telefe, as well as growth in Europe.
Domestic affiliate revenues decreased 8% to $907 million, primarily due to subscriber declines and lower SVOD revenues, partially offset by rate increases. International affiliate revenues grew 18% to $187 million in the quarter.
Adjusted operating income for Media Networks decreased 7% to $913 million in the quarter, principally due to an increase in segment expenses and lower revenues.
- Viacom continues to hold the #1 share of basic cable viewing in all key demos, including Adults 18 49 and Kids 2-11, among others. Worldwide video consumption on Viacom sites, mobile apps and connected devices grew 38% year-over-year.
- In January 2018, Paramount Network launched in the U.S. to solid early results. Its dynamic 2018 slate features cinematic original series, including Waco, Heathers, American Woman and Yellowstone; fan-favorites Lip Sync Battle, Ink Master and Bar Rescue; all-new Bellator events and a broad portfolio of films.
- MTV grew primetime ratings by 14% and primetime share by 25% year-over-year, becoming the 2nd fastest growing entertainment network in primetime among the 40 largest cable channels. Video consumption across MTV’s digital properties increased 101% year-over-year as social video views grew 105%.
- BET achieved a second consecutive quarter of double-digit ratings growth, up 16% year-over-year. The network, which has remained #1 with African Americans 18-49 for 16 straight years, finished the quarter with the two highest rated awards shows on cable: the Hip Hop Awards and the Soul Train Awards.
- Nickelodeon remained at #1 with Kids 2-11 and 2-5 for the 10th straight quarter, and continued to expand its off-screen initiatives through SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical; strong sales of Paw Patrol toys and other consumer products; and new offerings such as the SlimeZone VR experience.
- Comedy Central delivered a year-over-year increase in audience share for the third straight quarter, with South Park maintaining its lead as the #1 primetime original comedy on cable for the fifth year in a row. Finishing January as the #1 entertainment cable network among millennial men, TV's top brand in comedy also announced the June return of Clusterfest to San Francisco after a strong 2017 debut.
- VH1, TV Land and CMT each closed out the quarter with growth in ratings and share. VH1 achieved its 10th straight quarter of year-over-year ratings improvement, while TV Land and CMT recorded their highest performing first quarters in three years