Home Entertainment Amid Turmoil, Paramount Global Sees Q1 Lift From Super Bowl, Narrows Loss

Amid Turmoil, Paramount Global Sees Q1 Lift From Super Bowl, Narrows Loss

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The recent broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII boosted Paramount Global‘s first quarter of 2024, stabilizing advertising revenue at its TV operations, as the company’s streaming operations added more than 3 million subscribers and cut losses there by more than 40%.

Overall, Paramount narrowed its first quarter operating losses while seeing a 6% uptick in revenue, due in large part to audience and advertiser interest in its Big Game presentation, which set a new viewing record.

The company released details of its first-quarter performance even as it announced a surprising executive turnover, with the heads of its TV, cable and movie businesses named to run the conglomerate after Bob Bakish, who had been the CEO for the past few years, was ousted. The company’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is in the midst of potential sale negotiations with a group led by the entertainment studio Skydance, RedBird Capital, and KKR. In a sign of the turmoil affecting the company, executives on Monday declined to answer questions from analysts after delivering prepared remarks to investors on a conference call.

Naveen Chopra, Paramount’s chief financial officer, in a statement cited new interest in the Paramount+ streaming service, the Super Bowl and a new slate of programming at CBS after last year’s Hollywood strikes as the clear catalysts for the results.

Revenue from the company’s TV operations, its largest business, rose 1% to $5.2 billion, due in part to a 14% uptick in ad revenue. Meanwhile, affiliate and subscription sales fell 3%. Revenue from film operations rose 3% to $605 million due to box office from “Mean Girls,” “Bob Marley: One Love” and “The Beekeeper.”

Revenue from direct-to-consumer operations rose 24% to nearly $1.88 billion. Subscribers to Paramount+ increased 3.7 million, to more than 71 million overall. Paramount narrowed its streaming losses by 44%, to $286 million from $511 million in the year-earlier period.