Lower ratings at its TV networks contributed to the decline, the company said. Viacom did not disclose specific advertising details. Viacom’s operating income from its TV networks slipped 1% to $1.1 billion, primarily due to higher programming costs.
Recent data from MoffettNathanson Research says Viacom added 13% more commercial TV spots in the fourth quarter, while witnessing a 15% decline to 2.8 million average prime-time viewers.
Still, overall TV network revenue climbed 4% to $2.65 billion due to higher affiliate fees, as well as seeing a 3% hike in international advertising revenue. U.S. affiliates were up 8% and international affiliate revenues gained 6%.
Viacom’s Paramount film unit gained 6% in revenue to $720 million during the period with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” -- a major highlight. There was also a 16% climb in home entertainment revenues due to two film releases during the period versus none in the fourth quarter 2013.. Viacom’s film unit cut its losses from the previous period by 19% to $60 million.
Overall, revenue were up 5% to $3.34 billion, with net earnings sinking 9% to $500 million.