Despite carriage fights, Viacom posts 22% rise in fiscal Q4 affiliate fees

Despite impasses that have kept its channels off some smaller U.S. cable services, Viacom reported a 22 percent rise in global affiliate fees for its fiscal fourth quarter.

The spike was mainly attributable to revenue from SVOD services; however, the conglomerate still experienced a single-digit affiliate fee gain when SVOD was taken out of the equation.

Overall revenue rose 9 percent to $3.99 billion for Viacom, and earnings per share of $1.71 exceeded the downgraded expectations of $1.68 from analysts.

But net income of $732 million slipped 8.9 percent year to year. Notably, ad revenue dropped 5 percent, amid softness in channel ratings and the overall ad market.

On Wednesday, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger downgraded Viacom, as well as stocks for CBS Corp., Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks.

"Four months of unprecedented TV audience declines, coupled with evidence of growth of SVOD consumption, is enough for us to conclude that something has systemically changed," Juenger wrote in a report. "We believe ad-supported TV is in the early stages of a structural decline."

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Hollywood Reporter story

Earnings roundup: Sizing up pay TV earnings for the third quarter of 2014

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