EARNINGS CALL

ViacomCBS Gung-Ho On Streaming Growth

Looking at the current quarter, CFO Naveen Chopra told analysts to expect streaming subscription revenue and streaming advertising revenue to accelerate from the first quarter.

QUARTERLY REPORT

ViacomCBS Beats Wall Street 1Q Estimates

ViacomCBS exceeded Wall Street earnings expectations in the first quarter, paced by the addition of 6 million global streaming subscribers. Revenue came in at $7.4 billion for the period ending March 31, ahead of analysts’ consensus forecast for $7.2 billion. Earnings per share of $1.42 also cleared the bar and rose 75% from the year-earlier quarter.

Hulu Finally Adds ViacomCBS Networks To Live TV Service

Comscore Renews, Expands ViacomCBS Deal

The new contract extends ViacomCBS’s portfolio rights for linear television currency.

ViacomCBS Partners With Rakuten To Launch Nick+ Streaming Service In Japan

The deal includes the Japan launch of ViacomCBS’s kids streaming channel Nick+, as well as a dedicated Nickelodeon zone for merchandise sales on Rakuten’s flagship e-commerce platform.

CBS News Chief Zirinsky About To Step Down

CBS News President Susan Zirinsky is nearing a deal to step down after just two years in the role and sign a wide-ranging production partnership with parent company ViacomCBS, according to people familiar with the matter. A search for a successor to Zirinsky has been ongoing for several months but a candidate has yet to be named. It is expected that she will remain as head of CBS News until then, the people said.

ViacomCBS Buys Chilevisión From WarnerMedia

ViacomCBS’s international networks division said it agreed to acquire Chilevisión from AT&T’s WarnerMedia. Financial terms were not disclosed. Local reports valued the transaction at between $14 million and $20 million. ViacomCBS Networks International said the acquisition will expand its footprint in Latin America and give it premium Spanish-language content for its Paramount Plus and Pluto TV streaming platforms.

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish Made Almost $40 Million In 2020

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish saw his pay increase slightly in 2020 to $38.9 million in 2020, according to an SEC filing on Friday. Bakish pulled in $36.6 million in compensation for 2019, which was split between his duties as CEO of Viacom before the merger with CBS toward the end of 2019.

ViacomCBS Publicly Opposes Georgia Voting Rights Law

ViacomCBS has taken a stance in opposition to the Georgia voting rights law that restricts voting access, making it the first major entertainment media corporation to do so and part of a group of vocal big businesses that include Delta and Coca-Cola. “We unequivocally believe in the importance of all Americans having an equal right to vote and oppose the recent Georgia voting rights law or any effort that impedes the ability to exercise this vital constitutional right,” reads the statement.

The Shadow World Behind The ViacomCBS Crash

Viacom stock, the hodge-podge of old media assets of CBS and Viacom which includes a TV network, a smattering of cable channels and the Paramount movie studio was always suspect as a YOLO stock candidate. For most of last year it traded in a sleepy $20-$25 range but suddenly this year exploded to just above $101 before flaming out in one the most memorable crashes in recent history as it tumbled nearly 70% in a matter of days.

ViacomCBS Shares Sink 9% After $3 Billion Stock Sale Announcement

ViacomCBS stock dropped nearly 9.1% Tuesday, as investors exited positions on news that the media conglomerate will sell up to $3.45 billion in stock as part of funding streaming content. The company’s shares closed at $91.25 apiece, coming a day after ViacomCBS’ announcement of plans to raise $3 billion in a stock offering.

ViacomCBS To Raise $3 Billion In Stock Sale To Aid Streaming Push

ViacomCBS is looking to beef up its streaming investment by raising $3 billion in stock offerings. ViacomCBS said it intends to use the combined net proceeds from the offerings for general corporate purposes, including investments in streaming. ViacomCBS launched Paramount+, a reconstituted version of CBS All Access, on March 4.

YouTube TV Adds New ViacomCBS Channels

YouTube TV subscribers have a new batch of channels that they can enjoy, with the vMVPD platform announcing the addition of seven ViacomCBS channels to the service. The new channels, announced via YouTube TV’s Twitter, include BET-Her, Dabl, MTV2, MTV Classic, Nick Jr., Nick Toons and Teen Nick.

Legacy Media Stocks Boom Amid Streaming Push

Everyone is a winner in the streaming wars. Legacy media companies like ViacomCBS and Discovery have been rewarded by investors for their push into streaming, while Disney’s stock is being saved by Disney+’s breakout success. Since the beginning of 2020, both ViacomCBS and Discovery’s stock have skyrocketed by more than 130% each, and Disney and Comcast have also risen by 36% and 27%, respectively, in that same timeframe.

Daily Mail Owner Demands Deletions From CBS ‘Oprah’ Special

Associated Newspapers, which owns the U.K. Daily Mail tabloid, has written to ViacomCBS demanding the deletion of “offending content” in Oprah Winfrey’s high-profile interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Lawyers for Associated Newspapers took exception with images in a newspaper headline montage they claim have been altered or misrepresented and demand that they be edited out of the TV special.

ViacomCBS Eyes Return To Work After July 4

ViacomCBS leadership has set a tentative timeline for employees to return to the media giant’s numerous offices, though in limited capacity, as coronavirus vaccines continue to rollout across the country and around the world. In a Thursday memo from CEO Bob Bakish, the executive outlined plans to return as early as just after the upcoming July 4 holiday.

Disney Shares Top $200, ViacomCBS Soars Nearly 13% On Monday

Disney and ViacomCBS shares were buoyant in trading Monday thanks to good news that allowed ViacomCBS to buck the general downtrend for the Nasdaq index.

ViacomCBS CFO Faces Delicate Transition Toward Streaming

ViacomCBS’s finance chief is tasked with reallocating funds toward the company’s new streaming service Paramount+ — launching Thursday — without starving its much bigger television business.

Will Paramount+ Be A Streaming Mountain Or Molehill?

Its backers hope the ViacomCBS streaming platform will be a smorgasbord of offerings — with live sports and news, reboots of properties like Frasier and Rugrats, original shows like Star Trek: Discovery and the ViacomCBS library — that will entice viewers. But its relatively late entrance to a competitive landscape and a $4 price increase compared to its predecessor, CBS All Access, could make it a challenging sell.

Balance A Tall Task As ViacomCBS Chases Streaming Giants

ViacomCBS on Wednesday night announced Paramount Plus, a beefed-up streaming service it hopes will win coveted dollars in an increasingly crowded space. But even as the company hopes a burst of material could help it compete with rivals Peacock, HBO Max and Hulu, it must contend with another challenge: how to grab new streaming customers while not letting go of legacy dollars. It is, after all, that money that help pays for the service, which won’t be profitable for at least several years.

EARNINGS CALL

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish Leaps Into Streaming

While Wednesday’s big presentation for investors was focused on Paramount+, Chairman Shari Redstone made it clear that ViacomCBS isn’t discounting its broadcast and cable businesses. “We’re about both linear and streaming,” she declared.

QUARTERLY REPORT

ViacomCBS 4Q Tops Forecasts

ViacomCBS exceeded Wall Street analysts’ expectations for its fourth-quarter results, reporting diluted earnings per share of $1.04 and total revenue of just shy of $6.9 billion. The consensus forecast by analysts was for earnings of $1.01 and revenue of $6.9 billion, up 13% and 3%, respectively, from the same quarter in 2019. Because the merger of Viacom and CBS was completed in December 2019, the financials reflect pro-forma and adjusted results.

Paramount Plus Discounted By 58% For Current CBS All Access Customers

ViacomCBS is offering a steep discount of its soon-to-launch Paramount Plus subscription streaming service to current CBS All Access customers willing to pay up front for a full year.

Nick Cannon, ViacomCBS Re-Team On ‘Wild ‘N Out’ After Host Apologized For Anti-Semitic Remarks

ViacomCBS U.K. Launches Unit To Boost Streaming Revenue, Partnerships

Dan Fahy is promoted to SVP, head of emerging business and will “spearhead a revenue growth strategy for all ViacomCBS Networks U.K. streaming platforms.”

CBS Opens Probe Into Racist, Sexist Behavior By Local TV Executives

Four days after CBS put two of its local television executives on administrative leave for alleged racist and sexist conduct, the ViacomCBS-owned company has instigated an external investigation into the potentially damning matter. “We are committed to creating a company culture that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for all of members of our CBS and ViacomCBS community,” said Entertainment Group boss George Cheeks in an email to CBS Stations staff on Friday.

Judge Allows Suit Accusing CBS Chief Of Backing Viacom Merger For $125M Payout

A Delaware judge has allowed CBS stockholders to sue over the 2019 merger of Viacom and CBS, finding a reasonable claim that former CBS chief Joseph Ianniello “sold” his support for the deal to Shari Redstone in exchange for a $125 million payout.

ViacomCBS To Launch Pluto TV In France, Vowing To ‘Transform’ Market

ViacomCBS, Dish, Adcuratio Go Addressable In Broadcast Network Inventory

ViacomCBS and Dish Media said they began delivering addressable advertising impressions during live national broadcast network inventory using technology developed with Adcuratio Media.
A number of campaigns have run across Dish’s footprint in certain markets where CBS owns TV stations. The campaign’s target viewers at the household level via Dish set top boxes.

Sinclair, ViacomCBS Sign Affiliation Renewals

The multi-year deal covers 13 CBS affiliates serving nearly six million television households.

How ViacomCBS Is Managing The Transition From Linear TV To Streaming

A year after the merger of Viacom and CBS in December 2019, the combined company is in the process of remaking itself from a media conglomerate with a business primarily based in traditional channels like linear TV and theatrical films into one whose operations are oriented around streaming. What the company will look like on the other side of that shift remains to be seen, but out of economic necessity, ViacomCBS in the future will need to look different than its current incarnation.

Judge Rules For Fairness Review In ViacomCBS Merger Shareholder Lawsuit

The 2019 Viacom-CBS merger will undergo strict legal scrutiny now that a Delaware Chancery Court judge has allowed a lawsuit to proceed from shareholders who say they were shortchanged in the transaction because of pressure applied by ViacomCBS controlling shareholder Shari Redstone.

How ViacomCBS Has Sharpened Its Streaming Focus

CEO Bob Bakish and his team have started getting credit for acquisitions, and sales of non-core assets, at attractive price tags that have transformed the company beyond the big merger that created it. In early 2021, it will detail how all its assets fit into its streaming strategy.

James F. Blue III Named Head Of Smithsonian Channel

ViacomCBS’s MTV Entertainment Group (formerly Entertainment & Youth) has named PBS NewsHour and former Nightline producer James F. Blue III as SVP, head of Smithsonian Channel. Blue will also oversee news and factual unscripted content for MTV Entertainment’s portfolio of brands across streaming, linear and digital, dual-reporting to Chris McCarthy, president, MTV Entertainment Group and Nina L. Diaz, president of content and chief creative officer.

AWS And ViacomCBS Expand Strategic Agreement

ViacomCBS selects AWS as its preferred broadcast cloud provider to power one of the largest digital transformations in the media and entertainment industry.

ViacomCBS Sells Simon & Schuster For $2.17B

German media giant Bertelsmann’s purchase of Simon & Schuster would reduce the so-called Big Five of American publishing to four. The deal, expected to close in 2021, requires approval from the US Justice Department. No U.S. publisher in modern times would approach the power of the new company.

ViacomCBS Cancels ‘One Day At A Time’

ViacomCBS Unveils Post-COVID Work Model

ViacomCBS is looking ahead to a post-coronavirus world, one in which approximately 70% of its more-than-20,000 employees will work at least partly from home, according to an internal memo from CEO Bob Bakish.

ViacomCBS Cuts Another 100 Jobs

A person familiar with the situation said some 100 staffers are affected across the combined company. The move is part of a streamlining and cost-cutting push when Viacom and CBS merged last December. The cuts started in January and there have been a few more rounds since, with the latest affecting joint services like legal and finance as well advertising and creative.

EARNINGS CALL

ViacomCBS Touts Upfront, CBS Shows Returning

The rate of decline for total advertising dropped to only 6% in the third quarter from a 27% drop in the second quarter. This year’s upfront was unlike any other, but CEO Bob Bakish said he is satisfied with the outcome. “We were up low-single-digits on price, and we were very careful with volume, holding back inventory so that we had inventory to sell in scatter. And … the scatter market today is very robust.”