SBD/February 16, 2017/Media

CBS Ad Revenue Falls In Q4 Due To Fewer "TNF" Games, Lower NFL Ratings

CBS ad revenue fell 2.8% to $1.8B, hurt by three fewer "TNF" games in Q4
CBS incurred a loss in its Q4 '16, saying that the airing of fewer "Thursday Night Football" games and lower ratings "dragged its revenue lower," according to Steele & Ramachandran of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Advertising revenue fell 2.8% to $1.8B, hurt by three fewer "TNF" games in Q4, as well as "lower ratings from NFL broadcasts in general." CBS Chair, President & CEO Les Moonves said his company met with NFL execs and Commissioner Roger Goodell “numerous times” and talked about ideas on “how the product can be more efficient.” Moonves "called out specifics like how long referees look at replays and said there are ways to speed up the game." Moonves added CBS is "not planning on cutting advertising” from future NFL telecasts. But he said that there are "potentially different, more engaging ways to include advertising, which the broadcaster may experiment with in the coming season." He said the NFL is “still the best content on television” (, 2/15). Moonves: "We're trying to make the game as good an experience as we can make it" (, 2/15). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Natalie Jarvey noted Moonves "addressed the declines in NFL ratings at the start of the season, noting that ratings improved by the end of the season after the election." Moonves: "Clearly this has been a hot-button issue across the industry. [The] NFL is the premiere property in all of media, and we feel very good about our long-term partnership" (, 2/15).
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