Global media giant Viacom saw a dip in its revenues in the third fiscal quarter of 2018, driven by its sale of the Epix entertainment network and lower-than-expected advertising sales.
The New York-head Viacom reported a 4% drop in revenues in Q3 from US$3.36 billion to $3.24 billion when it released its financial results Thursday (Aug. 9).
The media conglomerate also felt a drop in net earnings to $511 million, primarily due to the gain on sale of an investment in its Epix network in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted net earnings, meanwhile, increased by 1% to $475 million in Q3.
Elsewhere, the company’s operating income grew 1% to $752 million, primarily due to restructuring in the prior year quarter and improvement in filmed entertainment operating outcomes. However, adjusted operating income decreased by 5% to $767 million for the quarter.
Viacom’s Media Networks – a portfolio of cable nets which includes MTV, VH1 and Logo – felt its revenues falter by 2% to $2.5 billion in Q3. Despite a 17% increase ($158 million) in worldwide ancillary revenues, a 4% slump in worldwide ad revenue ($1.19 billion) and a 3% decrease in global affiliate revenues ($1.15 billion) offset its growth.
Domestic and international revenues each declined 2% in the quarter to $1.99 billion and $509 million, respectively. International revenues were also flat for the quarter.
Domestic (3%, $922 million) and international advertising (4%, 269 million) revenues both decreased, reflecting lower linear impressions at home and the outcome of an unsavory foreign exchange.
Viacom also reported that it “continues to hold the top share of basic U.S. cable viewing among key demos, including adults 18-34, African Americans 18-49 and kids 2-11, among others.”
According to a report from Viacom, MTV was the fastest growing network in primetime among the top 50 broadcast and cable channels in the adults 18-34 demo for Q3, thanks in part to the revival of reality juggernaut Jersey Shore and its spin-off series, Floribama Shore, the latter of which brought in nearly 1 million viewers in its second season premiere, with ratings up double-digits from its series debut.
“[MTV] has increased year-over-year primetime ratings for four straight quarters – its best streak in seven years – and, collectively with VH1, held nine of the top 10 unscripted cable series this year,” the organization said.
Viacom’s lifestyle broadcaster VH1, the network that airs the Emmy-nominated RuPaul’s Drag Race, has delivered 12 consecutive quarters of year-over-year share growth, while BET posted its highest-rated third quarter since 2014 - up 24% in C3 among adults 18-49.