CBS Q1 Revs Dip, Push C7 Upfront Deals

On the verge of the big upfront buying season, CBS network's first-quarter advertising revenues remained in a weak range -- somewhat expected by analysts.

It inched up 1% but was down 4% overall in its first quarter -- due to one less NFL playoff game -- and reached advertising revenues of $1.3 billion. Local TV advertising was down 6% to $506 million.

Brian Wieser, senior media analyst of Pivotal Research Group, says first-quarter NCAA related revenues were up by double-digit percentages, implying more weakness for core TV revenue.

Overall revenues offered up a mixed picture: Entertainment was down 1.8% to $2.26 billion; cable networks were 0.3% higher to $539 million; publishing was down 5% to $145 million; and local broadcasting was 4.8% lower to $596 million (TV stations were down 2.9%, while radio stations were down 7%).



Total revenue sank 2% to $3.5 billion with net income declining 14.7% to $394 million. CBS’ Friday stock price was up 0.2% to $61.22.

This upfront selling season, CBS will be pushing advertisers to extend their C3 deals -- average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting -- to more C7 deals.

Les Moonves, president/chief executive officer of CBS Corp. says current scatter pricing are up by double-digit percentages and demand is increasing. He added: “We're looking forward to the upfront where we expect volume and pricing both could be up fairly significantly.”

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