CBS Corp. (CBS) is a media conglomerate consisting of CBS Television Network and CBS Television Studios, along with various other media businesses including Local Broadcasting (owned stations), Outdoor advertising, Cable Networks, and Publishing. Segment contributions to CBS’ consolidated revenues were as follows in 2010: Entertainment 52% (primarily the CBS TV network), Local Broadcasting 20%, Outdoor 13%, Cable Networks 10%, and Publishing 5%.
The CBS Television Network’s programming lineup includes primetime comedy and drama series, reality-based shows, specials, children’s programs, daytime dramas, game shows and late night programs. It also operates a worldwide news organization, with regularly scheduled news and public affairs broadcasts, including the long-running hit 60 Minutes. In addition to several professional and college sports broadcast licenses, CBS Sports has rights extensions with the NFL for AFC conference games through 2013.
CBS television competes for audience, advertising revenues, and programming with networks such as Disney’s (DIS - Free Disney Stock Report) ABC, News Corp.’s (NWS) FOX, Comcast (CMCSK) and General Electric’s (GE - Free GE Stock Report) NBC. CBS Corp. also holds a 50% interest in the CW network, with Warner Bros. Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Time Warner (TWX), owning the other 50%. Moreover, CBS creates programming and distributes it for syndication, competing for airtime with a few of the same companies. It also produces and distributes feature films and operates an online content network.
The Local Broadcasting division includes company owned broadcast television stations as of December 31, 2010, as well as CBS Radio, consisting of 130 radio stations and online properties. The TV stations are located in the eight largest U.S. television markets. About 75% of its radio stations are based in the 25 largest U.S. radio markets.
CBS Outdoor sells advertising space on billboards, buses, transit shelters, rail systems, street furniture, and in retail stores throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. Operations are in 50 of the largest U.S. metropolitan markets, and many of the largest Canadian and Mexican markets. CBS also has exclusive rights to manage advertising space on about 90% of the total bus fleet in the United Kingdom
The core component of the Cable Networks segment is Showtime Networks, including the premium subscription services: Showtime, The Movie Channel, and Flix. The channels mostly air theatrical feature films, as well as original series, documentaries, special events, boxing, mixed martial arts, and other sports. CBS also recently announced plans to launch a video-streaming version of its principal premium, Showtime Anytime, to be available to subscribers via the Internet.
Cable revenues are derived from the license of program services to cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite, telecom, and other distributors. Some programming from these networks is also available on an on-demand basis.
CBS operates the CBS College Sports Network, a 24-hour cable program service, as well. The network features events from approximately 15 men’s and women’s college sports and airs 250 live events each year. Revenues are derived from subscription fees and the sale of advertising time.
Finally, the Publishing segment is comprised of book publisher and distributor Simon & Schuster. Adult and children’s books are produced in print, audio, and digital formats in the United States and internationally. In 2010, it published 154 New York Times bestsellers.
The company is also pursuing and expanding on further opportunities to distribute content to consumers on various platforms, including the Internet, mobile devices, and video-on-demand.
At the time of this article’s writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.