NCM’s total revenues in the fourth quarter were basically unchanged at $123 million. However, when revenues from its divested Fathom Events division are included, advertising revenues would have increased 13.9% to $108.1 million in the fourth quarter.
For the full year NCM’s total revenues fell 14.9% from $462.8 million in 2013 to $394 million in 2014; excluding the Fathom Events business, ad revenues would have fallen 7.6% from $426.3 million.
NCM Chairman and CEO Kurt Hall acknowledged that cinema advertising faced a challenging environment last year, stating: “2014 was a roller-coaster year for our company as the impact of new digital technology and the continued expansion of online content accelerated changes in consumer viewing habits.”
However, he expressed optimism about 2015, including the medium’s ability to continue winning national ad dollars away from TV, and NCM forecasts total revenues in the first quarter to rise 7%-11%.
Hall also alluded to the planned merger with Screenvision, the second-largest cinema ad network in the U.S., noting: “Further network expansion will enable us to offer marketers the broad audiences required to create meaningful targeted campaigns and the market coverage ubiquity that is now offered by our video advertising competitors, including broadcast, cable, online and mobile networks.”
The proposed merger with Screenvision faces continuing opposition from the Department of Justice on antitrust grounds, which sued to stop the deal in November of last year, foreshadowing a lengthy court battle.