Viacom reports strong earnings, boosted by channel gains

Viacom reported an increase in revenues and operating income in its fiscal third quarter following a strong performance by its Media Networks division, which includes channels like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

The firm said that revenues in the quarter were up 14% year-on-year to US$3.69 billion (€2.78 billion) and operating income was up 20% to US$1.085 billion, buoyed by its Media Networks arm, which had a 13% increase in revenue to US$2.57 billion and a 24% increase in operating income at US$1.158 billion. The latter helped offset a decline in filmed entertainment income and losses related to corporate expenses and equity-based compensation.

Viacom said that Media Networks revenues were “driven by increases in affiliate fees and advertising revenues.” Affiliate revenues grew 28% domestically and rose 26% worldwide, due to “the benefit of digital distribution arrangements and rate increases.”

Domestic advertising revenues rose 6%, due in part to increased ratings, and worldwide advertising revenues rose 5%, Viacom said.

In terms of channel performance Nickelodeon witnessed a year-on-year increase in global subscribers at 373.3 million people – compared to 348.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier. However total MTV subscribers slipped slightly from 554.9 million last year to 545.7 million this year.

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