CBS’ revenues up as it prepares to launch free OTT service
CBS, the US national network, increased its revenue by 11 per cent to $3.92 billion in the final quarter of 2017, thanks in part to the growth of its subscription over-the-top streaming services.
CBS All Access, which offers live sports content, and Showtime, the entertainment streaming service, now have just under 5 million subscribers combined and they are expected to reach 8 million by 2020.
Affiliate and subscription fee revenues were up 20 per cent in the quarter, rising to $923 million.
Despite growth in the network’s OTT subscribers, CBS’ advertising revenue fell by 3 per cent in the three months to 31 December 2017.
For the full year, CBS’ revenues increased by 4 per cent to a record $13.69 billion.
CBS posted a net loss of $41 million for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $113 million in the same period in 2016. Net earnings were $357 million for 2017 compared with $1.26 billion in the previous year.
CBS’ results come as it prepares to launch CBS Sports HQ, a new ad-supported OTT service that will be free to use.
The app is expected to offer clips, scores and highlights rather than live content.
Leslie Moonves, the network’s chief executive, told reporters on a conference call: “We’re not going to show games. We’re virtually making money on every single one of them……The sports rights business has gotten a little out of hand. A lot of packages out there are losing money. CBS Sports HQ will be more informational, more scores and highlights … but it will not be something you’ll watch a football game on.”