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DVD, online revenues contribute to positive CBS Q1

29 Apr, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

CBS Corporation posted earnings of $244 million for the first quarter 2008, ending March 31, up 14% over the same period in 2007. CBS reported in a financial call with investors April 29 total revenues of $3.7 billion.

President and CEO Leslie Moonves mentioned CBS DVD and the recent writers strike, profitable online ventures by the company, and the creation of the new video-on-demand venture announced by Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and MGM this month.

“The engine that drives so much of our success, from the station to syndication to DVD sales to online, is the CBS Television Network,” Moonves said. “The key question during the strike was how will CBS rebound when original programming returns to the air? Would the viewers come back, and the answer for us is clearly yes.”

He said that most shows returned to their pre-strike levels after the strike ended Feb. 12.

CBS-owned Showtime Networks added 1.3 million subscribers in the past 12 months, Moonves said, and that Showtime's programming “provided added revenue streams in the DVD market,” Moonves said.

He added that the new venture announced by Viacom on April 21 “will make available to us $300 million to invest in programming going forward.” Showtime's current distribution deal with the studios ends Jan. 1, 2009.

For CBS's online avenues, the NCAA Tournament garnered the company $23 million from online streaming, with Nielsen research showing 93% of the online streaming was done at work, “demonstrating that we are adding a whole new audience to our existing content and making bosses throughout America very angry with us.”

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