(Reuters) - CBS Corp, owner of the most-watched U.S. TV network, reported slightly higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by its Thursday night football broadcasts.
CBS won the rights to broadcast eight Thursday night NFL games during the 2014 season, giving it one of the most highly prized programs on a night coveted by advertisers.
Shares of the company, whose other hit programs include naval intelligence drama “NCIS” and comedy “The Big Bang Theory”, rose 3.5 percent in extended trading on Thursday.
CBS, which paid $275 million for the rights to the NFL games, charges close to $500,000 for a 30-second spot for the Thursday night telecast, analysts at research firm Trefis said in a note this week.
CBS’s total advertising revenue rose 4.1 percent to $2.14 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.
Apart from its broadcast network, CBS owns cable channels including Showtime, radio stations, and the Simon & Schuster publishing house.
Total revenue rose 3 percent to $3.68 billion.
Net income from continuing operations fell to $402 million, from $422 million a year earlier.
But earnings per share rose to 77 cents from 69 cents as the weighted average number of common shares outstanding declined.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of 76 cents per share and revenue of $3.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Ted Kerr