Advertising revenues gained 14%, including revenue from Australia’s Network Ten -- which CBS bought in the fourth quarter of 2017 -- and higher political advertising sales at its local TV stations.
Entertainment revenue businesses -- CBS broadcast network, its studios, CBS Television Distribution, Network 10, CBS Interactive, and CBS Films -- were up 19% to $2.2 billion. Content and licensing fees gained 16%.
Ad revenues for all these businesses is up 16%.
But just looking at its broadcast CBS TV networks, advertising revenue was flat for the third quarter. Currently, CBS says scatter at the network is up 20% to 30% in pricing across all dayparts, says Christina Spade, executive vice president-CFO, CBS Corp.
CBS expects an improved 2018-2019 TV season, in part coming from airing the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s College Basketball “Final Four” games next year.
CBS local media business grew 9% to $434 million due to higher retransmission fees and improved advertising from political marketing. Local TV stations are now pacing up in the “high teens” percentages in advertising, says Spade.
CBS’ cable networks posted a 32% revenue decline of $569 million from $840 million. This drop was due to comparisons to the high revenue producing Showtime Networks' Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor pay-per-view fight in the third quarter of 2017.
Showtime Networks now has 26 million subscribers coming from traditional and virtual digital pay TV providers.
Publishing revenues grew 5% to $240 million from higher print book sales and digital audio sales.
Company-wide net profits were down 18% to $488 million, but net earnings from continuing operations are up 17%.
CBS stock close up 2% to $58.49 on Thursday.