One would think that a recession may actually bode well for the average TV network. After all, isn’t hard economic times precisely a moment when many viewers are looking to “escape” from the humdrum reality of scrimping, sacing, and hoping you don’t lose your job? Maybe, but unfortunately the flip side of that coin is that advertisers are much less willing to fork out their hard earned money for a spot on your show, no matter how good (or bad) it may be.
As a result, CBS’s earnings came in around expectations that had been lowered earlier this year. Along with crappy earnings, dividends were cut as well, from $0.27 to $0.05. This is attributable to the fact that CBS has a rather large obligation coming due in 2010. Overall, TV revenues have suffered about an 8% drop since a year ago, radio was down even wrose at 18% along with outdoor being down 15%. As you might have guessed, internet revenue grew 218%.
Here’s that CBS had to say about it:
“We are clearly in the midst of one of the most difficult financial environments in history, with very little visibility on how long these economic conditions will continue or if there is worse to come,” said Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman, CBS Corporation. “But one thing that is clear to me is that Leslie and his team are managing our businesses superbly with an eye toward future growth. CBS’s strength as a content provider will continue to position it for success.”
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