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Viacom’s Q2 Home Entertainment Revenue Dips 29%

28 Jul, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Home entertainment revenue was down 29% to $435 million for the second quarter for Paramount parent Viacom, contributing to a 32% drop in earnings (to $277 million) for the three-month period ended June 30, compared to the same period in 2008.

“While the economy is certainly playing a role in this decline, the trend does support the notion that the consumer appetite for DVDs may be showing signs of fatigue,” said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman, in a July 28 conference call with investors.

Dauman and other Viacom executives offered hopes for Paramount Home Entertainment’s fourth quarter, when the second “Transformers” film, Star Trek and DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens are released on DVD.

“From a box-office standpoint, Paramount had an outstanding quarter,” Dauman said. “There’s more to do here, particularly in the areas of production and home entertainment infrastructure.”

Revenue for the quarter was $3.3 billion, down 14% from the previous quarter. Total filmed-entertainment revenue was down 22% to $1.38 billion.

During the conference call, Viacom executives shared that Epix, a joint movie channel offering from Lionsgate, Paramount and MGM, has signed its first distribution deal, with Verizon Communications and its FiOS TV service.

Dauman also shared that Viacom is in discussions with DVD rental kiosk operator Redbox, following Redbox’s new agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “We noticed with interest Sony’s deal. We’re in conversations with [Redbox] and others to move forward in the DVD marketplace.”

More than a billion videos from Viacom brands — which include MTV, VH1, Spike and Comedy Central — were streamed online during the period, Dauman said, and Viacom is “not just pushing our content out there, we’re finding ways to monetize our content.”

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