People/Biz

ViacomCBS braces for COVID-19 fiscal impact, reports higher viewership

ViacomCBS updated its fiscal outlook for the year in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday (March 26), stating it expects the impacts of COVID-19 – from ...
March 27, 2020

ViacomCBS updated its fiscal outlook for the year in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday (March 26), stating it expects the impacts of COVID-19 – from the postponement of theatrical releases to production delays — to be “material” to the newly-merged company’s financial standing.

The “magnitude” of the impacts will depend on the duration and extent of the pandemic, ViacomCBS reported in its filing, in addition to the “impact of federal, state, local and foreign governmental actions and consumer behavior.”

“Due to the evolving and uncertain nature of this situation, we are not able to estimate the full extent of the negative impact on ViacomCBS’ operating results, cash flow and financial position — including advertising and filmed entertainment revenues– particularly over the near to medium term,” the company stated.

As of March 26, it has not drawn from its US$3.5 billion revolving credit facility.

ViacomCBS reports increased viewership across its broadcast and cable properties, and is “utilizing its deep library of content to mitigate in part the impact of those delays.”

The media conglomerate is also working proactively to offset a portion of anticipated revenue losses through “cost-saving initiatives.”

It still expects to achieve US$750 million of “full run-rate merger related cost synergies” over the next three years, in addition to garnering around 16 million domestic streaming subscribers in pay and approximately 30 million monthly active users on Pluto TV in 2020.

 

 

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About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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