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2019 Vault Rankings

About CBS Corporation

You might say this company has a real eye for broadcasting. CBS Corporation, known by some as the "Eye Network" due to its eye logo, is a leading mass media conglomerate with television, radio, online content, and publishing operations. Its portfolio is anchored by CBS Broadcasting, which operates the #1 rated CBS television network, along with a group of local TV stations. CBS also owns cable network Showtime and produces and distributes TV programming through CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution. Other operations include CBS Interactive and book publisher Simon & Schuster. Chairman Emeritus Sumner Redstone controls CBS Corporation through National Amusements. CBS agreed to merge with Viacom, its National Amusements sibling, in 2019. 

Operations

CBS Corporation operates through four segments. Its Entertainment segment consists of the CBS Television Network, CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, Network Ten, CBS Films, CBS Interactive, and its digital streaming services CBS All Access and CBSN. The Cable Networks segment consists of Showtime Networks, The Movie Channel, Flix, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Networks.

The company's Publishing segment consists of Simon & Schuster's consumer book publishing business with imprints such as Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, Scribner, Gallery Books, Touchstone, and Atria Books. The Local Broadcasting segment consists of CBS Television Stations and CBS Local Digital Media, with revenues generated primarily from advertising sales.

The Entertainment segment contributed 65% of the company's revenue in fiscal 2016, while the company's Cable Networks segment accounted for around 20%.

Geographic Reach

CBS Corporation has operations in the US and Canada. The US contributes around 85% of the company's total revenue.

Sales and Marketing

CBS Corporation continues to draw the largest number of TV viewers among broadcast networks with hit crime shows, news, sports, and comedies. The high ratings allow CBS Corporation to charge advertisers more and more every year. Advertising accounts for more than 40% of the company's total revenues.

CBS Corporation has a presence online with such leading websites as CNET (technology news and reviews), GameSpot (video game information), and Last.fm (social networking for music fans). Its CBS Interactive segment focuses on selling advertising across its vast collection of properties.

Financial Performance

CBS Corporation's revenue has been on an upwards trend for several years. In fiscal 2017 revenue increased 4% to $13.7 billion as strong growth in affiliate and subscription fees and content licensing and distribution offset a 9% decrease in advertising revenue. The 26% rise in subscription fees was driven by one massive pay-per-view event -- the record-setting fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor -- in addition to 27% growth in station affiliation fees and retranmission fees. Content Licensing revenue grew thanks to higher sales from NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, and several CSI titles. Advertising revenue was down due to the effect of televising the Super Bowl the previous year (television rights rotate between CBS, Fox, and NBC). Underlying advertising revenue was down 2% due to overall lower viewing figures, partially offset by higher pricing.

Net income fell sharply to $357 million in 2017, from $1.3 billion the previous year, due to a series of one-off items, including a $105 million loss on the sale of its CBS Radio business, a 4 percentage point increase in income tax paid, a $49 million loss on early debt extinguishment, a $63 million restructuring charge, and a $352 million pension settlement (plus a discretionary contribution of $600 million).

Cash from operations fell 47% to $887 million on the back of the pension contribution and the tough comparable of the 2016 Super Bowl. 

Strategy

The merged Viacom and CBS -- to be called ViacomCBS -- would have more content assets under one roof to compete more effectively against Netflix and Disney's streaming service as well as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast (owner of NBCUniversal) that have made content-related acquisitions. Viacom and CBS bet that their combined content (Viacom brings Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV channels as well as Paramount Pictures) stands up against the assets of its rivals in the streaming battles on the horizon. Viacom and CBS had been part of the same company before splitting up in 2006. Both companies are controlled by National Amusements.

ViacomCBS intends to sell more streaming subscriptions, elevate its digital advertising sales, and create original shows for other streaming platforms, including Netflix.

It is clear now that traditional forms of television distribution (cable, satellite) have been successfully "disrupted" by internet-based streaming services such as Netflix. CBS is continuing to fine-tune its "All Access" streaming bundle and has begun rolling it out abroad, starting with Canada, followed by Australia. The process has required CBS to revise its licensing strategies as the company risks getting tangled up by its current model: Currently, CBS grants exclusive international streaming rights for its shows to companies such as Netflix, obstructing CBS from showing its own content online in overseas territories. Indeed, its licensing strategy causes problems even in its domestic streaming service. Catalogs of flagship shows such as Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls are either incomplete or not available at all on its All Access service. Other developments in the streaming domain include a new a sports-focused channel (news, analysis, and previews -- but not live events) and the hire of an ex-Facebook exec to oversee its digital expansion efforts. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

In late 2017, CBS acquired Network Ten, one of three major commercial broadcast networks in Australia. In addition to core linear channel TEN, the deal includes digital terrestrial television (DTT) channel ELEVEN, which CBS already had a stake in, as well as the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten's rapidly growing digital platform, TENPLAY. The acquisition plays into CBS' digital-led international growth strategy. 

CBS Corporation

51 W 52ND ST
New York, NY 10019-6188
Phone: 1 (212) 975-4321

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: CBS
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman, President, and CEO: Leslie Moonves
Svp, Associate General Counsel, Corporate And Securities: Kim Pittman
Vice Chair: Shari E. Redstone
Employees (This Location): 650
Employees (All Locations): 16,730

Major Office Locations

New York, NY

Other Locations

Culver City, CA
Fresno, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Redding, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Pedro, CA
Studio City, CA
Thousand Palms, CA
Miami, FL
Naples, FL
Orlando, FL
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Saint Louis, MO
Grenada, MS
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
Cincinnati, OH
Oklahoma City, OK
Monroeville, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Memphis, TN
Seattle, WA