Viacom’s first-quarter earnings fell as the company’s domestic ad revenues fell 6 per cent. Net earnings were $500 million down 9 per cent from $547 million a year ago. Total revenue increased 5 per cent to $3.34 billion.
Operating income for Viacom’s Media Networks unit, which includes Nickelodeon and MTV, was down 1 per cent to $1.104 billion in the quarter. Revenues were up 4 per cent.The company said domestic affiliate revenue rose 8 per cent and worldwide affiliate revenues were up 6 per cent. Domestic advertising revenues were down 6 per cent. Worldwide advertising revenue was up 3 per cent, with the acquisition of Channel 5 in London creating a 60 per cent increase in international advertising revenues.
“Viacom’s focus on developing popular franchise properties and constantly expanding our growing international presence drove solid top line results and record earnings per share this quarter,” CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement. “We continued to deliver increased revenues in our media networks operations driven by steady growth in affiliate revenues, and also benefited from Paramount Pictures’ Oscar-nominated Interstellar and our very successful company-wide franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Dauman added that “the media business is evolving faster than ever, but our mission remains unchanged: to continually develop more and better entertainment programming and deliver it to our engaged audiences on every screen and on every platform worldwide.”
Dauman also revealed that Nickelodeon will launch a new subscription mobile video service. He said he expected the service to be attractive to parents and children. Details of the service, including its name, will be announced at Nickelodeon’s upfront in late February.