CBS profit up, no word on Time Warner Cable deal
(Reuters) - CBS Corp (CBS.N) on Wednesday reported better-than-expected profit for the second quarter, as the broadcaster brought in more revenue from online licensing deals and international syndication of its television shows.
Chief executive Les Moonves said the company would remain firm in its standoff over fees with Time Warner Cable (TWC.N), which briefly blacked out CBS this week in New York and Los Angeles after the companies could not reach a deal. The deadline for a new agreement is Friday at 5 p.m. EST.
"Receiving fair value for our content is core to who we are, and we will remain resolute in this principle now and in all future negotiations," Moonves said.
Time Warner Cable did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On the call, Moonves touted the science fiction serial drama "Under the Dome," a summer hit based on a novel by Stephen King that CBS said it had already renewed for next summer.
The series, about a small town cut off from the outside world by a giant impenetrable dome, has attracted an average of about 12 million viewers per episode, making it the top scripted series of the summer in the United States. King has agreed to write the first episode of the new season.
CBS also struck a unique streaming deal with Amazon (AMZN.O) that put the show online four days after it aired. This made the show profitable even before it started airing, Moonves said.
Net earnings from continuing operations rose to $476 million from $452 million a year earlier, CBS said. Diluted earnings-per-share came in at 76 cents, beating the average forecast of 72 cents from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Affiliate and subscription revenues from pay TV providers gained 18 percent to $549 million, CBS said.
CBS Corp owns the CBS broadcast network and cable channels such as Showtime and the CBS Sports Network, and book publisher Simon & Schuster.
Shares of CBS rose 1 percent to $53.35 in after-hours trading from $53.35 at the close on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Liana B. Baker; Editing by David Gregorio)