Despite Ratings Dip, Retrans Delivers CBS Revs

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- CBS’ Nina Tassler says content generation is still at the center of its operations -- and despite lower traditional TV ratings, monetizing of their shows continues to grow.

“Our advertising continues to increase,” says Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, when looking at its live airings plus seven days of time-shifting. CBS is also seeing higher retransmission revenues. Tassler was speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting here.

Although CBS is deriving more revenue from other sources, “[TV] ratings are still important,” she says. Considering all TV-video platforms -- time-shifting, digital and otherwise -- “more people are watching CBS now than 11 years ago.”

One of its shows, “Scorpion,” can regularly add 6 million viewers after its live TV airing.



Although ratings have dipped, Tassler says the good news is that there are many different ways of measuring a TV program’s appeal -- including social media -- which can be valuable to the network. In addition, Tassler says, the marketplace continues to become complicated: “Our customers are also competitors.”

Last season -- looking at just traditional TV viewing during the September to May -- CBS averaged a Nielsen 2.3 rating among 18-49 viewers looking at live program ratings plus seven days of time-shifted (L7) data -- just 122,000 18-49 viewers behind NBC.

Overall, CBS averaged 11.3 million viewers in L7, up from 10.76 million a year ago. CBS continues its top position among 25-54 viewers -- the twelfth time in 13 seasons.

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