Streaming revenue boosts ViacomCBS Q1 results

ViacomCBS's first-quarter net income beat expectations on strong streaming revenue during a quarter when the company aired the Super Bowl and introduced its rebranded streaming service.

ViacomCBS rebranded its streaming service formerly called CBS All Access to Paramount+ in March.

ViacomCBS added 6 million global streaming subscribers in the quarter, for a total of 36 million across all of its streaming services, Paramount+, Showtime and BET+. ViacomCBS has projected that those services will reach 65 million subscribers by 2024, with most of the growth coming from Paramount+.

Paramount+ costs $6 a month with ads and $10 a month without. It joins an increasingly crowded fray of services from Netflix, Hulu, Disney, AT&T and NBCUniversal, among others.

ViacomCBS said sign-ups for its streaming services were driven by live sports and specials, including the Super Bowl (which aired on CBS All Access before it was rebranded), the NCAA basketball tournament, UEFA Champions League, its Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry and the Grammy Awards.

The New York-based company said it earned net income of $911 million, or $1.44 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.52 per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.22 per share.

The company posted revenue of $7.41 billion in the period, which fell short of Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.46 billion.

Streaming revenue jumped 65% to $816 million, boosted by higher advertising and subscription revenue.

ViacomCBS shares have climbed almost 5% since the beginning of the year. The stock has more than doubled in the last 12 months. Shares rose 45 cents to $39.55 in morning trading.

Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (https://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on VIAC at https://www.zacks.com/ap/VIAC