American media conglomerate Viacom saw its fiscal fourth quarter profits take a hit, falling by 15% from the prior year quarter to US$3.23 billion.
The company, who is currently in talks to merge with CBS Corporation, also saw its media networks revenues drop by 11% to $2.48 billion, reflecting advertising and affiliate revenue declines.
Domestic and worldwide affiliate revenues shrank by 19% and 16%, respectively, as a result of “significantly higher revenues” from SVOD arrangements in the year-ago period. International affiliate revenues, meanwhile, rose by 7%.
Viacom’s net earnings declined to $252 million, or 63 cents per share, paralleled by year-ago revenues of $884 million, or $2.21 per share. The 71% fall, the company said, is reflective of lower fees from television distributors and frail ad sales.
The filmed entertainment division, which runs Paramount Pictures, saw its revenues sink by 24% to $774 million, driven by lower theatrical revenues due to the strong international performance of Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation in the Q4 2015. Theatrical revenues at the unit also reported a revenue decline of 55% to $203 million.
“Viacom ended the 2016 fiscal year well into our transition, as the company’s industry-leading data program increased in size and sophistication, ratings stabilized at several of our key networks and Paramount has begun to rebuild a full, dynamic slate of films,” said Tom Dooley (pictured), Viacom’s interim president and CEO, in a statement. “In addition, our international media networks business is stronger than ever, and we will continue to broaden our footprint and apply our successful strategies to additional territories in attractive markets.
“With new leadership across the company, continued investments in new content, technologies and targeted acquisitions, and an expanded board of directors, I have great confidence in Viacom’s next phase, as the company explores the exciting possibilities ahead.”
Viacom’s subsidiary networks include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Channel 5 (UK), Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Paramount Channel. Cumulatively, they reach more than 3.9 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide.