CBS boosted by streaming

CBS reported record earnings as digital streaming revenue bolstered its broadcasting business. Net earnings were $472 million up 11% from $427 million a year ago.

Revenues were up 11 per cent to $3.7 billion, led by a 22 per cent increase in content licensing and distribution revenues. Affiliate and subscription fees, including retransmission consent fees, were up 18 per cent.

CEO Les Moonves said of the company’s retransmission and carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable, which briefly dropped CBS’ networks earlier this week: “Receiving fair value for our content is core to who we are and we will remain resolute on this principle now and in all future negotiations as well and that’s all we’re going to be able to say on this topic today.”

He later added that when it comes time to divvy up the money distributors charge subscribers, “the one with the most eyeballs should get paid the most. We should be paid appropriately.”

On Aereo, which makes CBS programming available online, “more wind than reality. It’s an illegal service that’s in essence stealing our content. We don’t think it’s catching on at all.”

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