International streaming service on the way but ViacomCBS takes big Q2 revs hit | Major Businesses | Business
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In keeping with a number of its peers and rivals in a second quarter of the year badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis, media giant ViacomCBS has reported a challenging second quarter of 2020.
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For the quarter ended 30 June 2020, ViacomCBS reported revenues of $6.275 billion, down 12% on an annual basis. Revenues for the half year were $12.944 billion, falling 9% compared with Q2 2019.opeating include slid 11% compared with the end of the second quarter of the previous year to $1.286 billion and tumbled 32% annually to $2.203 billion.

Despite the headwinds that the company faced in the quarter, ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish said that the company had delivered a solid quarter, with clear operational momentum and sequential improvement in key earnings and cash flow metrics. “Despite the impact of Covid-19 on revenue in the quarter, we’re successfully managing through the effects of the pandemic, reaffirming the strength of our combined operations,” he noted.

“Our results underscored our strong progress delivering on our value-creation initiatives, including integration cost synergies, expanded and new distribution agreements, as well as the rapid acceleration of our streaming business, where we achieved record users and revenue in free and pay while building toward the relaunch of our diversified super service.”

Assessing individual revenue performance, the company revealed that affiliate revenue increased 2%, reflecting what it said was growth in station affiliation and retransmission fees, as well as subscription streaming revenue, which more than offset declines in pay-TV subscribers. Advertising revenue declined 27% year-over-year, driven by the adverse effects of Covid-19 on global advertising demand, the comparison against the broadcast of the national semi-finals and championship games of the NCAA Tournament in the prior-year quarter, as well as the cancellation and postponement of professional golf tournaments.

Content licensing revenue was relatively flat, primarily reflecting the licensing of domestic streaming rights to South Park, offset by significant licensing activity in the year ago quarter, as well as the timing of deliveries, which were affected by Covid-related production delays.

US streaming and digital video revenue – which includes streaming subscription and digital video advertising revenue – rose to $489 million, up 25% year-over-year, driven by 52% growth in streaming subscription revenue and robust growth in advertising revenue from the Pluto TV AVOD service.

International steaming is set for a future boost with news that the international networks division of ViacomCBS (VCNI) is to launch a is launching a premium streaming service internationally, appealing to audiences of all ages with what the company says will be a competitively priced selection of ‘must-see’ exclusives, premieres and box-sets from ViacomCBS entertainment brands.

Launch priority will be given in 2021 to fast-growing OTT markets where ViacomCBS has identified the opportunity to become a leader in paid-for streaming based on its competitive position. These include: Australia, where its existing 10 All Access service will be rebranded and significantly expanded; Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil and Mexico; and, the Nordic countries.