CBS 3Q TV Revenues Rise

NEW YORK: CBS TV revenues increased in 9 percent for the company’s third quarter ending Sept. 30. Television revenues totaled $2.27 billion compared to $2.08 billion for 3Q08. The increase was attributed to higher TV license fees and affiliate revenues, though partially offset by softer ad revenues.

Ad sales yielded more than $1 billion for the segment--44 percent of the total and down from 51 percent of it a year ago.

Syndication fees were $799.1 million or 35 percent of total TV revenues. Syndication brought in $585.5 million last year. This year’s total grew on the strength of first-cycle sales of “Medium,” “Criminal Minds,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Numb3rs”

Affiliates contributed $335.1 million, or 15 percent, compared to $300.6 million last year. Subscription and rate-increases at Showtime and CBS Sports College Network were cited.

TV operating income was $440.6 million versus an operating loss of $7.58 billion for the same prior-year period, which included an impairment charge of $7.94 billion to reduce the carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets.

“Going forward, we have many reasons for optimism as we look to 2010: In the new fall season, we are not only again the No. 1 television network, we have also grown our audience year-over-year,” said Les Moonves, CBS president and CEO. “...We’ve sold five series into domestic syndication this year, and global demand for our programming continues to grow. And on the local front, pacing continues rising steadily for TV, radio and outdoor, and we expect that with our new streamlined cost structure, margins will improve significantly going forward as well.”

Consolidated revenues for the third quarter of 2009 totaled $3.35 billion compared to $3.38 billion last year. Net earnings were $207.6 million versus a net loss of $12.46 billion last year

Diluted earnings per share were 30 cents, in 2009 compared to a loss of $18.58 per diluted share in 2008. The Street pegged 3Q09 EPS at 22 cents.

Results for 3Q09 included a pre-tax non-cash impairment charge of $31.7 million; the 2008 quarter included a $14.12 billion impairment.

Free cash flow for the third quarter of 2009 was a net cash outflow of $23.6 million versus a net cash outflow of $38.1 million for the third quarter of 2008. Cash and equivalents totaled $473.8 million as of Sept. 30; long-term debt was $6.96 billion.

In a separate announcement, CBS said it secured a $2 billion revolving credit facility, replacing one it had not drawn on that was due to expire December 2010. The new credit line will be used to support commercial paper borrowings and for general corporate purposes.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

More on CBS:
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July 1, 2009:Deutshe Bank Cuts CBS Forecast
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