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May 16, 2011

Fox banks on dinosaurs, Simon Cowell in new TV lineup

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fox Broadcasting is calling on the hitmaking power of Simon Cowell and Steven Spielberg to sustain its standing with younger viewers, with one offering up another splashy talent show and the other bringing a prehistoric world to network TV.

Fox will also add four new comedies, two animated and two live action, along with another two dramas to its 2011-12 prime-time TV schedule, already anchored by hits such as “American Idol” and “Bones.”

May 15, 2011

NBC overhauls TV schedule with 12 new scripted shows

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) – NBC will attempt to revive its
TV schedule by stuffing it with a dozen new shows next season,
building a new block of comedy and rolling out a high-profile
musical drama from producer Steven Spielberg.

While NBC ordered up a clutch of new scripted series for
2011-12, its schedule will still be anchored by several
competition shows returning from this past season, including
musical hit “The Voice” and the long-running “Celebrity
Apprentice” — with or without Donald Trump.

May 4, 2011

Time Warner profit dips, but ad sales surge

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Time Warner Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday, with revenue rising 6 percent alongside a surge in advertising sales at its cable TV networks.

Time Warner, which owns cable networks such as CNN and TBS, as well as magazines and a movie studio, is the latest media company to benefit from the strength of the advertising market. CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Discovery Communications have all reported exceptionally strong results this quarter.

May 4, 2011

Time Warner tops expectations, ad sales surge

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Time Warner Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday, with revenue rising 6 percent alongside a surge in advertising sales at its cable TV networks.

Time Warner, which owns cable networks such as CNN and TBS, as well as magazines and a movie studio, is the latest media company to benefit from the strength of the advertising market. CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Discovery Communications have all reported exceptionally strong results this quarter.

May 4, 2011
via MediaFile

CBS: Get used to growth

Photo

CBS put on a big show in yesterday’s quarterly report, blowing out estimates on both profit and revenue. On the call that followed, Sumner Redstone called Les Moonves a “genius,” and Moonves called broadcast TV “the best game in town.”

Here are some notes from last night’s call:

    CBS, which said it would double its dividend, also plans to repurchase $250 million in stock this quarter. A nice bonus for shareholders who have already seen the stock rise by about 35 percent this year.
    Scatter rates, or prices for last-minute commercial buys, are up more than 40 percent in some cases for CBS. That’s a stunning number. Given those sorts of prices, Moonves is talking about “solid” double digit increases in upfront ad market next month.
    CBS is putting together six or seven fewer pilots than normal this year, showing that it’s pretty happy with its schedule right now (So far this season, CBS has declined the least of the big four broadcast networks in total household audience)
    Basically, investors and analysts should get used to these sorts of results, CBS suggested. Moonves said he was “confident” the first quarter’s performance would be “sustainable.”
    Part of that momentum is due to revenue CBS is getting from retransmission deals, which has been a big focus for Moonves. He said CBS would reach its goal of retransmission fees of $250 million by next year.
    What is more, “meaningful” revenue from its streaming deal with Netflix will start in second quarter.
    As for the outdoor division, Moonves said “we have no great intent to sell” it to JCDecaux, the French company that has it would be interested if CBS Outdoor came up for sale.  “Mr. Decaux, who we know very well and we like, makes statements about how he’d like to buy our outdoor company. As you know, our outdoor results as you can see are growing substantially quarter after quarter,” Moonves said on the call. “We are here, he has our phone number. If he wants to make an offer, we will always listen to it. It’s not our intent to aggressively sell.”
    And finally, there was bound to be a question about “Two and a Half Men” on the call. Moonves dodged it. “We don’t know what the resolution is right now. There are obviously a lot of moving pieces,” he said. He then added, “It’s an important show to us, but the good news about the CBS schedule is we are not dependent on a single show on any single night of the week.”

May 4, 2011

Strong ad market drives Comcast and CBS results

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Comcast Corp and CBS Corp showed the TV business is even stronger than billed, reporting earnings that surpassed most forecasts and setting the stage for healthy price increases in the next round of ad sales.

Rising advertising rates come as a major relief for a TV business that was under heavy pressure coming out of the recession, when corporations cut their marketing budgets and consumers fell ever more deeply in love with social media.

May 3, 2011

CBS results beat forecasts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results, helped by healthy ad sales and higher profit margins, and doubled its dividend.

Shares of CBS, home to the most-watched U.S. broadcast network with hit shows such as “The Big Bang Theory,” rose about 4 percent after hours, extending a rally that has driven the stock up around 35 percent so far this year. Both first-quarter profit and revenue surpassed expectations.

May 3, 2011

CBS results beat forecasts; dividend doubles

NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) – CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported
stronger-than-expected quarterly results, helped by healthy ad
sales and higher profit margins, and doubled its dividend.

Shares of CBS, home to the most-watched U.S. broadcast
network with hit shows such as “The Big Bang Theory,” rose
about 4 percent after hours, extending a rally that has driven
the stock up around 35 percent so far this year. Both
first-quarter profit and revenue surpassed expectations.

May 2, 2011

Red-hot US ad market puts TV executives in control

NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) – The message from media
companies is coming through loud and clear: TV advertising is
back.

Only a few big media companies have reported earnings for
the first three months of the year — Viacom Inc (VIAb.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and
Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) among them — but the
results show money streaming back into national television
campaigns. U.S. ad sales skyrocketed 11 percent at Viacom.

Apr 28, 2011
via MediaFile

Oprah’s network off to slow start

DiscoveryCommunications CEO David Zaslav is clearly hoping Winfrey finishes up with her daytime gig next month. That’s when she will turn her attention to the Oprah Winfrey Network. OWN, as it’s called, is a joint venture between Discovery and Oprah that has gotten off to a rocky start.

Even Zaslav acknowledges that viewership isn’t what he had hoped.  Ratings “have been below expectations” and it has been “a slower start” than he had wanted, he said on Discovery’s conference call today. The network has plowed big money into OWN — and has high hopes for it. Zaslav is now looking for results.