ViacomCBS exceeded Wall Street earnings expectations in the first quarter, paced by the addition of 6 million global streaming subscribers.
The rebrand of CBS All Access as Paramount+ took place in March in the U.S. and the company began a global rollout.
Revenue came in at $7.4 billion for the period ending March 31, ahead of analysts’ consensus forecast for $7.2 billion. Earnings per share of $1.42 also cleared the bar and rose 75% from the year-earlier quarter.
Streaming revenue climbed 65% to $816 million as Paramount+ led the way. The company said key subscription drivers included February’s Super Bowl, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in March, UEFA Champions League soccer and Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Kids’ content was also central to the effort, with Nickelodeon the main subscription draw globally, SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly in particular.
ViacomCBS also said Showtime’s OTT service had its best quarter ever in sign-ups, streams and hours watched. Originals like Your Honor and Shameless, plus theatrical films, paced the growth.
The Super Bowl also propelled overall results. Advertising in the TV Entertainment division, which includes CBS, surged 40% to $1.8 billion.
The picture in Cable Networks was a bit cloudier. Revenue increased 14% year-over-year, driven by growth in licensing, higher streaming advertising and streaming subscription revenue. But advertising revenue, excluding streaming revenue, decreased 7% year-over-year, largely because of a decline in domestic advertising.
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