CBS in the Red Zone With Super Bowl Ad Sales

Network deals 80% of in-game inventory

Late last month, PepsiCo said it had reached a multiyear deal with the NFL to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show, replacing Bridgestone Tires.

On the earnings front, CBS in Q2 beat Wall Street’s estimates, reporting net earnings of $427 million, or 65 cents a share, up 8 percent from $395 million, or 58 cents, in the year-ago period. Moonves said the profit was the highest since the company became a stand-alone entity in 2006.

CBS generated $3.48 billion of consolidated revenue in the quarter, down 3 percent from $3.59 billion. Sales at the broadcast/studios/distribution/interactive unit were down 7 percent to $1.71 billion.

While the company did not break out ad sales figures for the flagship network, a pair of noncomparable items—a multiyear digital-streaming agreement with Netflix and a March airdate for the 2012 NCAA Final Four—were almost wholly responsible for the year-over-year declines.

Cable TV revenue grew 8 percent to $446 million.

Looking ahead, Moonves said he expects the ad market will bounce back in September, coinciding with the official start of the 2012-13 broadcast season. “In August, we don’t worry about the scatter market—especially in an Olympic year,” Moonves said. “We’re ready for the gun to go off in September.”