Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Michael Corty, CFA

Bulls Say

The CBS television network has generated strong audience ratings relative to its peers for the past five years. The success and stability of the network is attractive to advertisers.
CBS has rights to valuable content, including the NCAA's March Madness and the National Football League. These popular programs give CBS leverage in negotiations with pay TV distributors for retransmission fees.
Comcast took a 51% stake in NBC Universal. The nation's largest pay TV distributor paying up for a content company demonstrates that quality content is tough to build from scratch. Read more 

Bears Say

Media firms like CBS are currently receiving excellent value from older or "library" content from new distributors such as Netflix.
When advertising declines profitability can also fall rapidly given the high operating leverage of the TV advertising business model.
There is potential for disruption in the pay-TV ecosystem, which would hurt channel owners like CBS. Read more 

Management

CBS' stewardship of shareholder capital is standard. We'd consider a higher grade if we only took the past four years into consideration. Chairman Sumner Redstone controls CBS through ownership of Class A shares--representing a majority of the outstanding   Read more 

Profile

CBS' television assets include the CBS television network, 30 local TV stations, and 50% of CW, a joint venture between CBS and Time Warner. The company also owns Showtime,  Read more 

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