Viacom CEO Upbeat About VOD Deals, Nickelodeon

Philippe-DaumanViacom says many of its program deals with subscription video-on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Plus have been "additive" to the company, as well as its distributors.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman says services like this help market the company's TV shows -- as well as for other Viacom distributors.

"It has been additive," says Dauman, in disputing that some of these SVOD program deals have been damaging, taking away viewers from the traditional TV program airings. He says some Viacom distributors have noted that these deals have been helpful from a marketing perspective.

Asked about Nickelodeon's sharp 30% dive ratings over the last year -- numbers which have stabilized recently -- Dauman says: "Clearly, we have to climb back out and look to getting progress for the rest of the year."

He notes that the big, crucial fourth-quarter period for Nickelodeon will see a 70% rise in original programming versus a year ago, highlighted by new shows, including an updated version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." That said, Dauman notes: "It won't solve the problem completely" of the programming moves in the period. He adds: "We have learned a few things. You will see a sustained effort there."

Scatter advertising pricing has now picked up after the Olympics, says Dauman, which according to many analysts took money out of the market.

"We are seeing good demand. Scatter pricing is up in the teens [percentage gains] compared to upfront pricing. We are pleased we went into the upfront early," he adds.

But he says Europe is still in a tough advertising market due to many markets tough recessionary economies in many countries.



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