May 30, 2024

All eyes may be on the reigns of power changing hands at Paramount Global, but that’s not stopping the media company from adding millions of new subscribers who are interested in one thing: sports.

Shares of Paramount popped by nearly 3% in after hours, trading at $12.50 following the company’s first quarter earnings report. The media company’s positive results were led in part by an increase in advertising revenue buoyed by Super Bowl LVIII.

Naveen Chopra, Paramount’s CFO, told investors during the company’s eight-minute and 50-second earnings call (during which it said it would not be taking questions) that despite operating in a “dynamic environment,” the company has remained “focused on execution.”

Advertising revenue grew by 17%, driven by Super Bowl LVIII and sports content, the company said in its earnings report. A 30-second spot at this year’s game had a price tag of about $7 million, AdAge reported. Meanwhile, the studio’s Paramount+ unit added 3.7 million new subscribers, bringing it to 71.2 million for the period.

Those figures were just enough to lift Paramount on Wall Street and beat analyst expectations. For the period, it reported revenue of $7.69 billion, about $0.87 cents a share. Analysts had forecasted it would generate $7.65 billion, about $0.34 cents a share.

Those better-than-expected results come just before Paramount said its CEO Bob Bakish would be stepping down and would be replaced by a trio of executives. Bakish was at the helm of the media giant since 2019.

The trifecta being dubbed the “office of the CEO” will be filled by three division heads: George Cheeks, President and CEO of CBS; Chris McCarthy, President and CEO, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks; and Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, the company said in a press release.

The C-suite shakeup also comes at a time when Paramount and film production company Skydance Media, the company behind Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,  mull a potential merger. Those exclusive talks have a deadline of May 3.

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