Five-year alliance to combat the likes of Google
Viacom and Microsoft announced a five-year strategic alliance Wednesday that redirects Viacom’s Web efforts away from Google, its opponent in a bitter $1 billion copyright infringement suit.The pact will see divisions of both companies team on advertising, content distribution, event promotions and games. The companies would not divulge the deal’s exact value, but estimated its “projected base value” at $500 million in financial considerations. Among its key elements:
- Microsoft will get non-exclusive rights to Viacom TV and film content for use on Microsoft properties such as MSN and Xbox 360
- Viacom’s 300-plus Websites will use Microsoft’s Atlas division as their ad server, a switch from Doubleclick, whose acquisition by Google is awaiting regulatory approval. Microsoft will have the exclusive right to sell “remnant,” or leftover, display ad inventory on Viacom’s U.S. sites
- Microsoft will pay an undisclosed sum for ads on Viacom broadcast and online networks over five years, and the companies will jointly promote MTV Networks and BET Networks award shows
- Viacom will pursue opportunities to become a preferred publishing partner in Microsoft’s casual gaming businesses.
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