Advertising revenue grew 8 percent to $2.46 billion, helped by big events such as the Super Bowl and Grammy awards. Excluding these one-time events, the company said ad revenue would have grown in the "low single digit" percentages.
CBS Corp.'s stock rose 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, in after-hours trading to $46.90.
Moonves said that demand for last-minute ad buys on the CBS network was strong. He predicted that both bulk airtime sales and prices would be "up considerably" during the mass sales period ongoing now called the "upfronts." Such price hikes would boost CBS's finances in the final quarter of the year. He said prices would be up in the "high single to low double digit" percentages from a year ago.
Alan Gould, an analyst with investment bank Evercore Partners, said Moonves' comments were reassuring. Gould said the quarterly results were much better than expected.
"I do believe him that CBS will do better than the rest of the industry," he said.
Earlier Wednesday, NBC and Telemundo owner Comcast Corp. said broadcast television revenue fell more than 18 percent to $1.5 billion because the quarter last year included the Super Bowl on NBC. Excluding the Super Bowl, which was on CBS this year, revenue fell 5 percent. Comcast blamed lower prime-time ratings at NBC and lower revenue from content licensing.
ABC and ESPN owner Walt Disney Co. and Fox owner News Corp. are scheduled to report results next week.