CBS posts best ever quarter results, talks up Netflix

US media group CBS Corp. posted record single quarter financial results yesterday, as its chief executive revealed the firm remained in talks with Netflix about producing original programming for the streaming service.

The leading broadcast network’s first quarter results for the three months to March 31, 2013, showed revenues of more than US$4 billion, which was up 6% on the previous year. Operating income was up 18% at US$800 million and earnings per share were up to 73¢ from 59¢ in Q1 2012.

“Each of these financial metrics is the best we’ve ever posted in a single quarter, reflecting both the strength of our base businesses and the ongoing success of our strategy to grow the company’s steady and recurring revenue,” said CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves.

CBS will finish the current TV season top of all key demographics, including adults ages 18 to 49 for the first time since the 1991-92 season, said Moonves. Furthermore, the company was on track to repurchase $2.2 billion in shares this year, he added.

CBS was also keen to play up its partnerships with VOD platforms such as Amazon and Netflix.

“We recently renewed and expanded our agreement with Amazon, and we continue to benefit very nicely from our Netflix deal as well. These two deals led to strong double-digit growth in streaming revenues during the quarter,” said Moonves.

“As we look to the future, our relationships with Netflix and Amazon will remain very strong, and we’re confident they will continue to be extended beyond their current terms.”

Moonves also disclosed the CBS Studios was in talks with Netflix over producing an unnamed original series, as he previous noted in February. “We’re talking to them about producing for them. So the great news is, we can produce for anybody, and we’ve got a lot more capacity,” he added.