CBS 2Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

Spun off outdoor business

“we successfully completed the separation of our Outdoor business. This accentuates that CBS is a content company, and we are fully focused on what we do best.”

Thursday night football going to be on CBS

“the CBS Television Network will have the biggest event on television this fall with Thursday Night Football. Never before in the history of network television has the NFL been on Thursday nights.”

Back end as important as the front-end. Content is king

“one of the things that clearly has changed about our business is that the back end of a show’s revenue is now as important, if not more important, than the front end from advertising. Ownership of content is the key to our success. So we’re very pleased to have increased the number of shows that we own on our prime time schedule. We will have ownership in 4 out of 5 of our new series on CBS this fall and in more than 70% of our total lineup.”

CBS Studios producing more content

“in order to grow our portfolio of owned content franchises, CBS Studios is going well beyond the CBS Television Network. We’re programming for Showtime, for the CW, for other cable networks and for other broadcast networks, including a straight to series order for ABC.”

Everybody is doing original content

“I know people are doing more original programming, but the big hits are still selling very well in off-net. ”

Price of licensing SVOD going way up because of Netflix and Amazon

“One of the things that has changed obviously is the great expansion internationally of both Netflix and Amazon. So it becomes a much more competitive marketplace in just about every one of the international territories. So you’re seeing huge international numbers, bigger than I’ve ever seen before. When you announce a new fall show that’s a drama, the numbers are truly extraordinary with rarely a number being below $2 million per episode for a brand-new drama and north of $3 million for some of the more established hits. So that’s fairly substantial. ”

It’s easy to make SVOD deals

“In terms of the SVOD marketplace, once again, we are able to make deals consistently. As we said, we’ve expanded our Netflix library. We are extremely pleased that our current 2 summer shows have deals with Amazon and the next year show has a deal with Netflix.”

Content wins

“at the end of the day, it’s all about content. And clearly, we’re heading towards the universe where people are going to watch it when they want it, how they want it. As long as they’re counted, as long as we keep being sort of dominant in being the premier supplier of network programming, we’re always going to win, we’re always going to be fine monetarily. So we’re very excited about the future. We’re very excited how technology is changing what we’re doing. But it still depends on if — people won’t watch bad shows on good devices. It still depends on having a good show.”

Repeats aren’t drawing viewers

“there’s no question, the repeats aren’t doing quite as well as they used to. So we are definitely trying to pack in our schedule with as many original programming.”