Thursday, February 13, 2014

CBS Reports "Even" Radio Revenue

On Wednesday's conference call with analysts, CBS's Leslie Moonves reports radio revenue was "even with last year".

As for top categories, CBS reports healthcare and auto grew solidly in both TV and Radio. But the company cited the lack of political ad dollars to explain why Local Broadcasting OIBDA came in at $263 million. However, the company says that's still a solid margin of 37% for the quarter.

Moonves says CBS Radio continue to put an emphasis on great local programming in radio, which is leading to bigger audiences. During the most recent ratings period, he reports double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and nontraditional revenues from special events was up double digits over 1 year ago. Their strategy to combine the company's local TV and Radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.

In 2013, website revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in '14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January. He said he was very pleased with the success of CBS Interactive business. Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.

In Local Broadcasting, nonpolitical revenue was up 4% for the quarter, with TV stations up 9% and Radio even with last year. Reported results were obviously affected by last year's political spending.

Also Heard during CBS' earnings call (via Seeking Alpha)
  • Execs with CBS (CBS +4.1%) make it crystal-clear that they think the company is sitting on top of the content world during the firm's earnings call.
  • An interesting observation is on the enormous popularity of The Good Wife on Amazon Prime (ranked #1). Much of the viewing was "catch-up" which is more evidence of the symbiotic relationship between content providers and streamers. Execs remind that CBS has "held back" many of its popular shows from streaming indicating that many more monetization opportunities for older content exist.
  • CEO Les Moones dismisses the Supreme Court fight with Aereo. He thinks the broadcasters will win, but if not he has a plan: "...we can form our own Aereo with the other networks."
  • The NFL Thursday night deal is both a good short-term value and long-term play, say execs. Reading between the lines, it appears the purchase price won't put CBS in the hole.

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