CBS Station Revenue up 2% as Company Reports 80% Profit Increase Thanks to Retrans Fees

By Andrew Gauthier 

As CBS stations saw a slight increase in revenue for 2012’s first quarter, the company drew huge profits during the period thanks in part to an increase in revenue from carriage agreements.

CBS today reported an 80% increase in profit for the first quarter, which analysts attribute to the $60 million in retrans fees the company received from cable systems, nearly double the amount it received during the same period last year.  Not only did CBS receive a ton of carriage money from cable systems,  it also received a significantly bigger cut of the retrans fees its affiliates earn from cable providers.

Meanwhile, revenue at the CBS station group rose 2% during the first quarter.


The company reported that an increase in automotive advertising, as well as higher retrans fees, was offset by lower spending from the utilities and service industries.  Revenue for CBS’s local broadcasting unit–TV and radio–was flat for the quarter.

“The transformation of CBS’s business model continues, and I am extremely pleased that we posted record results,” CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves said.  “Our ability to capitalize on the fundamental shifts in our industry has led to the growth of significant new revenue streams and has also allowed us to increase our share of non-advertising revenue”