Viacom Ad Growth Will Dip To Single Digits

Viacom ad growth is projected to come in below expectations in the current quarter, partly because of program scheduling matters, but the overall ad market remains robust, according to CEO Philippe Dauman.

Dauman indicated Viacom would post a high single-digit increase in ad revenues in the July-September quarter, which would be below the double-digit growth domestically that it had projected. (The company had a 12% domestic increase in the April-June quarter.)

Despite help from MTV's "Jersey Shore," Dauman attributed some of the reasoning for the slower-than-expected ad performance to "short-term issues" in programming schedules, such as Nick at Nite only recently adding "Friends."

Still, he said "despite the macro economic headlines ... the tone of the advertising market remains strong."

As the fourth quarter begins, Viacom should begin to benefit from strong upfront commitments. Dauman cited potential growth as movie advertisers look to promote a run of forthcoming new releases. He appeared Thursday at a Goldman Sachs industry event.



Separately, Dauman said Viacom is content with its Hulu arrangements, where it distributes "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" the day after air. He said they had actually helped drive ratings for the shows, rather than cannibalize it.

Viacom also distributes shows on the paid Hulu Plus product, which brings advertising and licensing dollars. "It replicates the dual revenue stream that you get in the traditional world," he said.

Digital distribution offers opportunities to break into new international markets, where gaining TV carriage can be tough, Dauman noted.

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