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ViacomCBS Beats Q3 Estimates; Shows Strength in Streaming Subscriptions

The company said its domestic streaming services, CBS All Access and Showtime, had 17.9 million subscribers at the end of Q3, just shy of its 18 million forecast for the full year.

Image source: ViacomCBS earnings presentation, Nov. 6, 2020

(Reuters) – ViacomCBS Inc beat analysts' estimates for quarterly revenue on Friday and nearly reached its annual streaming subscription target a full quarter ahead of time as lockdowns boosted demand for indoor entertainment.

The company said its domestic streaming services, CBS All Access and Showtime, had 17.9 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter. It had earlier forecast 18 million paid customers by the end of the year.

CBS All Access, which benefited from strong demand for sports content, and Showtime OTT, with shows like “The Chi” and “Billons”, had significant growth in sign-ups both sequentially and year-over-year, the company said.

ViacomCBS competes in an increasingly crowded U.S. video streaming market with dominant players like Netflix, which has over 195 million paid subscribers globally, and Walt Disney Co's streaming services, including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, which has over 100 million global customers, as of last quarter.

Streaming and digital video revenue, which includes the subscription-based streaming services, jumped 56% to $636 million, while revenue from advertisement across the company took a $145 million hit in the third quarter.

Total revenue fell 9% to $6.12 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, but came above estimates of $5.94 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru and Kenneth Li in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila.

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Source: Reuters, ViacomCBS