Rockband and MTV power Viacom profit rise
Strong sales of the video game Rockband and robust ad sales on MTV and Nickelodeon spurred media conglomerate Viacom to a 33 per cent surge in first-quarter profit Friday, the dpa reported.
The company reported net income of 270 million dollars, or 42 cents per share, compared with 203 million dollars, or 29 cents a share, in the year-ago first quarter. Revenue rose 15 per cent to 3.12 billion dollars, led by the Media Networks segment, up 16 per cent, and Filmed Entertainment, up 12 per cent.
The gains at Media Networks were driven by higher ratings for shows at MTV and Nickelodeon, as audiences shifted to cable from broadcast networks during a 100-day writers strike that halted production and resulted in rerun-dominated schedules. The cable channels, which rely more on unscripted reality programs and animated programs, weren't as affected by the work stoppage.
Sales of the video game Rock Band were also strong with Viacom selling 3 million copies of the game with toy instruments and 10 million song downloads, Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said on a conference call today. The game will be released in Europe and go on sale for Nintendo Co's Wii console in June, he said.
"This is a major new brand and long-term franchise for Viacom, and we intend to nurture it and grow it in the same way we maximize our television brands," Dauman said.