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Home Entertainment Helps Viacom

14 Nov, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Better home entertainment revenues from Paramount Home Media Distribution helped parent company Viacom post positive fiscal fourth-quarter results Nov. 14.

The company reported revenue of $3.65 billion, up from $3.36 billion during the same quarter in 2012, and a profit of $804 million, up from $650 million during the same quarter in 2012. Home entertainment revenues grew 24% for the quarter, with Viacom’s filmed entertainment segment up 11% to $1.21 billion. Theatrical revenues were up 31%.

“In filmed entertainment, the success of World War Z and strong performance of the ‘Star Trek’ and ‘G.I. Joe’ franchises in the home entertainment market drove solid returns in the quarter, and we are very optimistic about Paramount's ambitious pipeline of branded and franchise films,” said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman.

Viacom also saw a 54% jump in ancillary revenues, with a large growth in digital distribution sales for home entertainment releases during the quarter. The company’s media networks segment was up 7% to $2.46 billion, with both worldwide and domestic ad revenue jumping 10%.

“Viacom’s outstanding performance proved once again the broad global demand for our valuable content,” said Viacom executive chairman Sumner Redstone. “Looking forward, our world-class brands are perfectly positioned to build on this performance and achieve even greater success.”

Paramount is working on new movies for the “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Trek,” “G.I. Joe” and “World War Z” franchises, and the first Paramount Animation films in the pipeline will be SpongeBob SquarePants and Monster Trucks movies.

During a call with investors, Dauman noted that a multiyear agreement during the fiscal 2013 year with Amazon to stream library content through Prime Instant Video “demonstrated our ability to collect significant value for our content through a new growing distributor but also to smartly orchestrate our content windowing so that we can do additional deals as new entrants come to market.”

He also noted that Viacom has launched branded channel applications for Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and Country Music Television, with plans for Comedy Central and Logo apps in the next few months. He said the Nickelodeon app has been installed more than 5 million times, and that MTV released the complete first season of the new series “Wait Till Next Year” in advance of its on-air premiere.

“Much of the video we're delivering via app is thanks to our TV Everywhere agreements,” he said. “Ten distributors currently support our authenticated apps and websites, and we expect to reach additional agreements soon.”

Dauman touted Viacom’s ability to sell ads via apps and that the apps help secure better on-air ratings for various shows.

“We also look forward to our distributors inserting capabilities like digital ad insertion and the like,” he said. “On the measurement front, which will also drive the penetration of TV Everywhere capability, we are encouraged by a lot of the initiatives that are on place. As we go forward and as we roll out this app capability, we will have the opportunity to combine sample-type ratings with first-party data that we already utilize on our dot-coms, on our apps and mobile application as we go forward.”

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