Corus’ revenue inches back up to pre-pandemic levels

Continued ad-revenue recovery in TV is helping recovery, as are increases in its subscription business.

Corus Entertainment’s monthly revenues continued to inch back towards pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter. The question now is whether those revenues can return to, or exceed, those seen before the pandemic took a significant chunk out of ad revenues and broadcasters’ bottom lines.

For the period ending Feb. 28, the media company’s combined TV and radio revenue fell 5% to $358.9 million, compared to $376 million in the same quarter a year ago. It should be noted that last year’s Q2 did not reflect the impact of the pandemic.

“Our Q2 results demonstrate strong operational momentum, bolstered by sequential television advertising revenue recovery, robust paid streaming subscriber gains and double digit growth in our content licensing business,” said Doug Murphy, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The recovery is due in large part to sequential increases in its TV ad revenue, which has improved after declines of 31%, 25% and 14% in Q3, Q4 and Q1, respectively.

Looking at the TV segment in isolation, Q2 revenue was $338.5 million, compared with $347.9 million a year ago. The decline was attributable to the fact TV ad revenue fell to $185.8 million in Q2, from $199.2 million in Q2 of 2020.

Elsewhere, Corus is continuing to see an evolution in its subscription business. For the quarter, overall subscription revenue was mostly flat, climbing very slightly to $124.2 million from $123.7 million. However, Corus execs say that its digital subscription offerings – StackTV and Nick+ – are driving an increasing portion of its subscriber revenue, and, crucially, offsetting declines on the traditional TV side due to erosion of subscriber numbers and the closure of certain specialty channels.

Across StackTV and Nick+, which are offered via Amazon, the company has 500,000 paid subscribers as of April 9, up from around 400,000 in Q1, according to Corus.

Murphy noted that the company expects continued growth in its digital subscription business, with Oprah with Meghan and Harry driving a significant number free-trial signups to StackTV, in addition to a total linear TV audience of 3.2 million (2+).

This story originally appeared on Playback.