Lionsgate 4Q Revenues Down, CBS Eyes Starz

Following up on reports of CBS’ interest in its Starz cable TV network group, Lionsgate Entertainment reported 12% lower revenues to $914 million for its fiscal fourth quarter.

Theatrical film revenues were down 16% to $257.6 million, with TV production giving up 7% to $272.8 million. Only media networks, mostly made up from Starz, were up 3% to $362 million.

The company also posted a net loss of $155.2 million. The result was a reverse of $91.3 million net income in the same quarter a year before, largely due to the one-time tax benefit of $259 million after U.S. corporate tax law was changed.

Lionsgate closed mostly flat on Thursday at $15.99 a share, followed by the release of its financial results. After-hours trading saw the stock sink, at one point, to $14.60.

CBS is interested in purchasing Starz from Lionsgate, according to a number of reports. CNBC says CBS made a preliminary $5 billion offer.

By the end of the quarter, Starz had 24.7 million subscribers, up 1.2 million from a year ago. Carriage from over-the-top (OTT) platforms grew to more than 4 million subscribers.

Other reports say CBS is also having slow, ongoing talks to re-merge with Viacom.

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