ViacomCBS Lifted by Streaming Growth, Return of Sports

    • ViacomCBS reported second quarter earnings of $6.6 billion, as it gained in streaming subscribers.
    • The company attributed a 24% year-over-year uptick in ad revenue to the return of live sports.

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ViacomCBS saw promising growth in flagship streaming service Paramount+, as well as a recovery in ad revenue led by the return of live sports.

Revenues for the media giant rose 8% year-over-year to $6.6 billion in the second quarter.

  • Ad sales grew 24% year-over-year to $2.1 billion, which the company attributed to sports resuming. CBS’ sports broadcasts include the NFL, NCAA basketball and football, and the PGA Tour.
  • The company added 6.5 million streaming subscriptions, namely through Paramount+, Showtime, and Pluto TV. Global streaming revenue grew 92% year-over-year to $983 million. 
  • Paramount+ will launch in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Austria in 2022 through a partnership with Sky.

The company is paying handsomely to keep the NFL in its lineup: It will fork over $23.6 billion from 2023-2033 to air league games on its linear and streaming channels and stay in the Super Bowl rotation along with NBC and Fox.

ViacomCBS broadcast Super Bowl LV in February, leveraging the viewership of 96.4 million to promote Paramount+. 

The company anticipates that streaming will contribute 15% to its total revenue in 2021 as it leans on live sports to lure subscribers.