Viacom has tapped IBM to raise the curtain on its digital dawn.
Big Blue will overhaul Viacom’s technology infrastructure and build the systems needed to digitally distrib its programming to future entertainment services.
Multibillion dollar deal is considered one of the largest IT services and consulting contracts of its kind to be inked, and becomes latest IBM move to aggressively beef up its presence in the entertainment arena. Company is angling to become the leading technology provider for companies looking to manage and securely distribute their digital entertainment.
As part of the seven- to 10-year deal, IBM will provide technology and consulting services to Viacom’s U.S. operations, which include Paramount Pictures, CBS and cablers MTV and Showtime.
More specifically, New York-based Big Blue will help Viacom digitize and manage the production and distribution of all entertainment programming and advertising that is securely delivered across its broadcast, cable TV, radio and Internet properties.
IBM will also help develop new ways for Viacom to distrib its programming to yet-to-be-determined outlets, including wireless devices and video-on-demand services.
“In addition to significant cost savings, this relationship will bring us competitive advantages while allowing us to focus on the creation and distribution of world-class entertainment content,” said Russ Pillar, prexy of Viacom Digital Media, who is expected to oversee the initiative for the media conglom.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but IBM last year inked a multi-billion deal with CNN to manage the news channel’s multimedia assets. The Viacom deal is expected to demand much more from IBM. IBM also provides technology services to Viacom-owned TV skein “Entertainment Tonight.”
“Viacom is leading an entertainment industry trend by exploiting new technologies that will set the stage for a digital future,” said Dick Anderson, general manager, media and entertainment industry, IBM. “IBM will provide the tools, industry expertise, and technology services to help Viacom deliver on its vision for a digital future.”