CBS Blames Sliding Revenues On 'Frasier,' Amazon And Netflix


Photo: CBS

CBS may have reported an eight per cent increase in second-quarter profit, beating out estimates compiled by Bloomberg, but that came coupled with a dip in advertising sales and licensing revenue from the company’s old shows. The No.1 network’s sales sunk from $3.59 billion to $3.48 billion. Ad sales, 60 per cent of the company’s revenue, were mostly to blame, they dropped 3.3 per cent.

Fees from CBS’ vast library of old TV shows, including Frasier, also contributed to the revenue slip. Content and licensing revenues declined 8% to $816 million. The company said the decline was due to digital streaming and Frasier:

… the timing of licensing revenues from digital streaming, as dozens of programs from the Company’s library were first made available for digital streaming during the second quarter of 2011, as well as the third-cycle domestic syndication sale of Frasier during the second quarter of 2011, partially offset by higher international syndication sales in 2012.

Frasier had strong sales in previous periods, leading to weak comparables.

“Digital streaming,” however, appears to be a reference to a couple of deals that CBS struck with Netflix and Amazon. Members of Amazon can now watch CBS’s old shows for free, the company announced in July. Moonves said the Netflix deal was “preordained” to be renewed.

Bonus points: If you noticed CEO Les Moonves on the conference call with Wall Street getting excited about a new Showtime title for next year, “Masters of Sex.”


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