ViacomCBS Pulls Financial Guidance Amid Virus Crisis

ViacomCBS said that because of global concern about the Coronavirus crisis, the company was withdrawing its guidance to Wall Street about its 2020 financial results.

“The impact of COVID-19 on ViacomCBS’ businesses – including the postponement of theatrical releases domestically and internationally, cancellation or rescheduling of sports events for which the company had broadcast rights, and production delays in television and filmed entertainment programming – could be material to the company’s operating results, cash flows and financial position,” the company said in a statement.

Among the CBS sports events canceled or postponed are the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and The Masters golf tournament.

“The magnitude of the impacts will depend on the duration and extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of federal, state, local and foreign governmental actions and consumer behavior in response to the pandemic and such governmental actions,” ViacomCBS said.

Other media companies have issued similar statements.

CBSViacom noted that it has seen increased viewership across its broadcast and cable properties, and is utilizing its deep library of content to mitigate in part the impact of those delays.

The company also said it is “working proactively to offset a portion of anticipated revenue losses through cost- savings initiatives.”

In the statement, ViacomCBS said it still expects to achieve $750 million of full run-rate merger-related cost synergies over the next three years.

It also said it reaffirmed its prediction that it will have about 16 million domestic streaming subscribers and approximately 30 million monthly active users on Pluto TV by the end of the year.

ViacomCBS noted that it has access to $3.5 billion in revolving credit.

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.