Distributor fees in focus as CBS reports 1Q

AP News
Posted: May 01, 2012 7:12 AM
Distributor fees in focus as CBS reports 1Q

CBS reports its first-quarter results after the market closes on Tuesday, and analysts will be looking for profit and revenue growth to continue as the company reaps more money from traditional and online distributors.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect CBS, the broadcaster behind shows like "The Good Wife" and "Blue Bloods," to post net income of $288 million in the quarter through March, and an adjusted 44 cents per share of earnings, up from 29 cents a year ago. Revenue is seen at $3.78 billion, up from $3.51 billion.

Entertainment revenue is seen rising, driven by higher fees paid by cable and satellite companies for the right to retransmit CBS network signals. Also, CBS Corp. will likely report new revenue streams from the sale of shows to Amazon.com and the sale of reruns of "CSI: Miami" to the AMC Network.

As usual, advertising trends will be watched closely as the company makes about 63 percent of its revenue from that source.

Nomura analyst Michael Nathanson expects ad revenue across CBS's TV and radio stations, outdoor billboards, websites and broadcast network to rise 3 percent this year and 1 percent in 2013. Analysts will look at the quarter's results to see whether trends are on track.

Bring Out Your Dead
Gil Gutknecht

CBS's results are a bellwether for the advertising market, which is itself an indicator of the health of the broader economy. The ability to sell shows to distributors such as Netflix is also a reflection of consumers' changing media consumption habits.

CBS also makes shows such as "Hawaii Five-O" and "NCIS" and is co-creator of programs like "Criminal Minds" and "Rules of Engagement."