The company says the decrease is “entirely attributable to lower political advertising sales as well as lost revenues resulting from the NBA lockout during 2011.”
CBS Corp. on Wednesday reported results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, that included Local Broadcasting segment revenues of $721 million, a decrease of 12% from $821 million for the same prior-year period.
The company said the decline is entirely attributable to lower political advertising sales as well as lost revenues resulting from the NBA lockout during 2011.
CBS Television Stations revenues decreased 18%, also reflecting lower political sales and lost NBA advertising revenues, partially offset by higher retransmission revenues and an improvement in auto advertising.
CBS Radio revenues decreased 5%, reflecting the decline in political spending, which was partially offset by growth in domestic auto and financial services advertising.
Local Broadcasting OIBDA for the fourth quarter of 2011 decreased $56 million to $266 million from $322 million for the same prior-year period. Lower programming expenses, in part because of the NBA lockout, and the impact of cost-containment measures overcame nearly half of the revenue decline.
The Entertainment segment )comprising CBS Television Network, CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Films, and CBS Interactive) reported revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 of $2 billion, down 1% from $2.02 billion for the same prior-year period. The decrease reflects the second-cycle syndication sale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation during the fourth quarter of 2010. At the same time, in 2011 the company benefited from new multiyear domestic and international licensing agreements for digital streaming as well as increases in retransmission revenues. Advertising revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 were essentially flat compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.
For the company as a whole, revenues were $3.78 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with $3.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010, which included the second-cycle syndication sale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and significant political advertising. Revenues in 2011 benefited from the company’s new digital streaming agreements and higher affiliate and subscription fees, including retransmission revenues.
“2011 was a record year for CBS, and we’re confident 2012 will be even better,” said Leslie Moonves, president-CEO, CBS Corp. “In the fourth quarter, margins continued to expand, and EPS continued to grow. And we’ve recently taken strategic steps to accelerate our growth in what we see as an improving marketplace.
“We’ve reached another key retransmission agreement, and we’ve extended our NFL contract well into the future. In addition, the performance of the CBS Television Network in the first half of this season was the industry’s best in decades. Plus, as the election season progresses and the automotive rebound continues, our local businesses will continue to improve.
“What’s particularly exciting, however, is our ability to capitalize on the fundamental changes in our business model, meaning that the ways we get paid for our content are becoming more lucrative all the time. As our momentum builds and our revenue mix becomes more steady and recurring, we are positioned to enhance margins, drive earnings, and return significant value to our shareholders for many years to come.”
Read the company’s report here.