The first earnings report from the newly merged Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. shows a loss in the fourth quarter, amidst plans to launch a “House of Brands” streaming service.
For its cable networks, which include MTV, VH1, PopTV, and the Smithsonian Channel, the full year revenue and fourth quarter revenue showed a decline of 2%, as did the fourth quarter revenue. For the latter, ViacomCBS said the drop was attributable to the decline of linear subscribers more than offsetting growth from OTT services.
Overall, the results, released on Thursday (February 20), revealed that revenue dropped by 3% in the fourth quarter.
Going forward, the company plans a big push into streaming, with a new “House of Brands” strategy. It will expand on CBS All Access with more from the combined ViacomCBS library of content across its suite of linear channels, as well as on-demand and live experiences. The new service will complement the company’s existing free Pluto TV and pay Showtime OTT services.
The full year report showed that domestic streaming and digital video generated approximately $1.6 billion in revenue.
Other aspects of ViacomCBS’s upcoming strategies include a focus on global cross-company franchise management and on prioritizing investment in streaming and studio production, identified by the company as two growth areas, as well as combining content across broadcast and cable to drive growth.
Overall revenue fell to USD$6.87 billion from $7.09 billion in the year-earlier period, and a net loss from continuing operations of $273 million.
In a statement from ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish (pictured) said, “In less than three months since completing our merger, we have made significant progress integrating and transforming ViacomCBS.”
At press time, ViacomCBS stock was down 16.60% hours after the financial results were released.
(With files from Barry Walsh)