CBS Reports Record Third-Quarter Profit and Revenue

1:22 PM PST 11/07/2012 by Paul Bond
CBS

UPDATED: CBS is selling 30-second Super Bowl ads for $4 million, says CEO Les Moonves.

CBS on Wednesday reported record third-quarter of $391 million compared with $338 million a year ago. Revenue rose 2 percent to $3.42 billion, also a record.

For its financial growth, CBS credited an 8 percent increase in content licensing and distribution fees.

"We have done it again," crowed executive chairman Sumner Redstone, who kept his opening remarks very short during a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

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"We set records in virtually all financial categories," CEO Les Moonves said during the call. He also predicted record full-year results.

He predicted CBS will lead ratings this season among 25-54 year-olds, and he pledged to get paid for all viewing, including via DVRs, in quarters to come.

Moonves also said he is considering licensing to digital streaming services library episodes of shows that currently air on CBS and Showtime.

He also said CBS is getting $4 million for 30-second Super Bowl spots, and a local spot in New York sold for $1 million.

Moonves cited several shows for its success during the quarter, including The Big Bang Theory, 60 Minutes, Vegas and Elementary.

Advertising revenue at the company's "entertainment" division, which includes the CBS Television Network and CBS Television Studios, fell compared to last year due to the effect of the Summer Olympics and pre-emptions of shows because of coverage of the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Overall, though, the entertainment division grew its revenue 3 percent to $1.63 billion.

Revenue at the "cable networks" division, which includes Showtime and CBS Sports Network, rose 4 percent to $436 million.

"Publishing" revenue dropped 5 percent to $210 million, despite "best-selling" titles Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Black List by Brad Thor.

"Local broadcasting" revenue rose 1 percent to $661 million and "outdoor" revenue was up 2 percent to $486 million.

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