CBS took in a 6% advertising spike for its TV operations in the second quarter, largely due to the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
In the same period the year before, Turner’s networks -- which shared the month-long event with CBS -- had the key end-of-the-tournament games.
Company-wide advertising revenue grew 4% overall to $1.29 billion. Content licensing and distribution revenue benefited from a higher volume of television licensing sales and grew 12%, to $1.06 billion.
In addition to substantial TV ad revenue gains, CBS benefited from sizable improvements in affiliate and subscription-fee revenue -- 16% more, to $848 million.
Included in this was a 25% increase in retrans revenue and fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations. CBS also claims higher revenues from digital subscription services.
Local media revenue -- its TV station business -- grew 4% to $412 million as a result of higher retrans revenue. Advertising revenue sank 2% from lower political advertising sales, offset by CBS's semifinals and finals of the NCAA Tournament.
Cable network revenue grew 7% to $571 million due to higher affiliate and subscription fees from Showtime. Publishing revenue was up $206 million. Best-selling titles included "Lord of Shadows" by Cassandra Clare and "I Can't Make This Up" by Kevin Hart.
CBS' overall revenue grew 9% to $3.26 billion from $2.98 billion for the same prior-year period. Net earnings for the second quarter of 2017 were $58 million versus $423 million in the second quarter of 2016. This year’s results included a non-cash charge of $365 million from selling off its interest in CBS Radio.
On Monday, CBS stock closed up 1.4% to 64.52. After-market activity -- where CBS releases its quarterly results -- witnessed a slightly higher price to $65.08.