CBS Reports Lower 3rd-Quarter Net Income

CBS reported lower earnings as it approaches its merger with Viacom.

Third-quarter net earnings were $319 million, or 85 cents a share, down from $488 million, or $1.29 a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 1% to $3.3 billion.

Affiliate and subscription fee revenue was up 12%

Advertising revenue was down 7% compared to a year ago, when the company’s local stations were getting record levels of political advertising.

Entertainment operating income fell to $302 million from $384 million a year ago as the company invested in content. Revenue was up 4% to $2.29 billion. Subscription and fee revenue rose up 22% because of higher station affiliation fees and payments from virtual MVPDs.

Ad revenue fell 5% partly because of the way the sports calendar laid out and partly because of the 19-day blackout with AT&T.

Cable network operating income fell to $196 million from $241 million a year ago because of costs associated with new Showtime series. Revenue rose to $563 million from $529 million.

"We delivered record third-quarter revenues as we continue to increase our investment in our premium content and direct-to-consumer streaming services, which is the cornerstone of our growth strategy," said Joe Ianniello, president and acting chief executive officer at CBS. "We are building great momentum as we near our merger with Viacom and head into 2020."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.