CHART OF THE DAY: Cable Networks Saving Media Companies' Butts

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Media companies beat earnings estimates left and right this week. How did they do it? In large part, thanks to their television divisions, where cable networks grew.

With two noticeable exceptions, the television segment of these media companies was up, while the overall companies’ revenues dropped.

It’s the dual revenue structure of ads and affiliate fees from cable companies that grew revenues. At CBS, ad sales were down 5%, but affiliate fees were up 11%. Affiliate fees were up double digits year over year for half these companies. Meanwhile, ad sales were down.

The exceptions on the chart below? NBC and Comcast. Comcast is the only company that’s up overall in revenue, thanks to its steady cable business. NBC is the only television segment that’s down, due to weak advertising. Coincidentally, Comcast is thinking about buying NBC.

media companies, revenue growth, tv segment revenue growth UPDATED

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