Film, TV declines hurt conglom; rev falls 14% to $3.24 billion
Declines in film and TV battered Viacom last quarter as theatrical revenue plunged by half and advertising fell.Net profit declined 7% to $534 million in the fiscal third quarter. Revenue was down 14% to $3.24 billion. Cable networks’ sales fell 5% to $2.27 billion. Domestic advertising revenues dropped 7% and were down 9% worldwide. The company was hit by a steep drop in rating at Nickelodeon last fall and has been scrambling to refresh its lineup. And it cited the timing of event-driven programming versus the year ago quarter. “We are aggressively investing in our brands,” said CEO Philippe Dauman in a statement, citing new kids shows “Workaholics” and “Legend of Korra.” Domestic affiliate revenues eased 1%. Excluding the impact of digital distribution deals, domestic affiliate revenue growth rate was in the high-single digits. Worldwide affiliate fees increased 1%. At Paramount, revenue plunged 29% to $1 billion. Worldwide theatrical revenues decreased 52% in the quarter to $283 million, reflecting the number and mix of releases, which included three films, DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “The Dictator” and “Titanic 3D,” versus four the previous quarter, DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 2,” Marvel’s “Thor,” “Super 8” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Worldwide home entertainment revenues declined 8% in the quarter. Worldwide television license fees decreased 24%. Worldwide ancillary revenues surged 44% to $104 million driven by digital deals. “Despite challenging year-on-year comparisons…Viacom remains committed to pursuing its long-term strategy of international expansion, continued programming investment and ongoing focus on operational discipline,” Dauman said.