Television

ViacomCBS reports $6.871 bn revenue in Q4

It reported the first quarterly earnings as a combined company

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MUMBAI: ViacomCBS today reported financial results for the quarter and full year ended 31 December. The company’s full year revenue increased 2 per cent, driven by growth in advertising, affiliate and content licensing. Significantly, it reported the first quarterly earnings as a combined company.

ViacomCBS reported $6.871 billion revenue compared to $7.092 billion in the same quarter of 2018, down by three per cent. The company also mentioned in a press release that transitional Q4 included merger-related expenses. For the full year, it reported revenue of $27.812 billion.

“In less than three months since completing our merger, we have made significant progress integrating and transforming ViacomCBS. We see incredible opportunity to realise the full power of our position as one of the largest content producers and providers in the world. This is an exciting and valuable place to be at a time when demand for content has never been higher, and we will use our strength across genres, formats, demos and geographies to serve the largest addressable audience, on our own platforms and others,” ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish commented.

‘In 2020, our priorities are maximising the power of our content, unlocking more value from our biggest revenue lines and accelerating our momentum in streaming. With this as a backdrop, we’ve set clear targets for the year and are providing increased transparency around our business to demonstrate ViacomCBS’ ability to create shareholder value today, as we continue evolving and growing our business for tomorrow,” he added.

In the quarter, affiliate revenue increased one per cent, as strong growth in reverse compensation, retransmission and subscription streaming revenue more than offset declines in the pay TV landscape. Domestic advertising revenue was affected by significant declines in political advertising compared with the prior-year quarter. Domestic Cable Networks’ advertising revenue grew  nine per cent while content licensing revenue declined 11 per cent due to the timing and mix of deliveries.

On the full year basis, advertising revenue increased two per cent, driven by five per cent growth in domestic advertising sales, reflecting CBS’ broadcasts of Super Bowl LIII and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament’s national semifinals and championship games, as well as higher revenues from Advanced Marketing Solutions which includes Pluto TV, partially offset by lower political ad spend.

Affiliate revenue grew three per cent, fueled by 20 per cent growth in reverse compensation and retransmission, as well as strong subscription streaming revenue, which more than offset declines in pay TV subscribers.

Content licensing revenue rose five per cent, reflecting higher revenues from licensing library and original production to third parties. Domestic streaming and digital video business – which includes subscription revenue and digital video advertising – generated approximately $1.6 billion in revenue.

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