Viacom Chief Philippe Dauman Downplays Volatility of Media Stock

LONDON — Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of Viacom, downplayed concerns over the company’s stock price Wednesday at a conference for senior broadcasting executives in the U.K.

“You have to look through… People start awfulizing very easily, and they extrapolate trends as occurring very rapidly. They assume that content companies that have been in business a very long time and have adapted over a very long time are not going to adapt. So there are a lot of assumption built in,” he told delegates at the Royal Television Society annual conference in Cambridge, England.

“There’s been a lot of volatility. In the middle of the summer there was a big drop. We went to a low. As of right now, we are up 25% from where we were in the third week of August,” he said. “So we went down a lot. We are still quite down for the year but we look through that.”

Dauman underscored that the fundamentals of the business had not changed. “The important thing for us is to focus on what we do best,” he said. “We make great content, figure it how to distribute it, in new ways, in new geographies.”

Dauman emphasized the importance of international markets, with a focus on the U.K., where Viacom bought free-to-air broadcaster Channel 5 a year ago, India and Africa. “We are building an enormous international business, where we have scale here in the U.K. – it is a launching pad to build scale elsewhere,” he said. “We have scale in the best emerging market for media right now, India, and we are also distributing some those networks in other countries and we are looking ahead. We are not just looking at next year. Africa for example is one where we are talking about a decade from now what will be a very rich and lucrative media market. And we are making money there now but that growth rate is going to be very high – it’ll be a significant number. So there are things that fade away, and other things that become important opportunities for the future.”

Dauman said that the “smart” investors would recognize the opportunities. “We thing that the stock market doesn’t always see how you’re going to end up in the long term, and the very short term sometimes. But the ‘smart’ investors, those who bought three weeks ago, are feeling pretty smart already. So old investors go out and new ones come in and they make money.”

Dauman cautioned against doomsayers who heralded the end of television. “What makes television ‘television’ — that is the content – is here to stay. Let’s not confuse medium with message. Whatever the screen, people are watching more video content – a lot more — than ever. However, it is undeniable that the media industry in the U.S. and around the world is in a period of transition,” he said.

“The trend is clear – the revenue models that are being challenged in the U.S. will also come under increasing pressure here as the digital revolution continues to transform viewing habits,” he said. “It is also clear that the way forward is inevitably up. Audiences the world over are hungry for the high-quality content we all produce.”

More TV

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

  • Teyonah Parris

    Teyonah Parris Cast in 'WandaVision' at Disney Plus

    “Mad Men” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” actress Teyonah Parris has been cast in Disney Plus’ “Wanda Vision” series. She will play an adult version of Monica Rambeau, a child character introduced in the film “Captain Marvel.” The announcement was made at Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation. The forthcoming Disney+ series about Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth [...]

  • Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx - NOS4A2

    'NOS4A2' Renewed for Season 2 at AMC

    AMC has renewed “NOS4A2” for a second season. The news was announced during the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con and ahead of the Season 1 finale. Season 2 will consist of 10 episodes and is slated to air in 2020. The series, which is based on the 2013 Joe Hill novel of the same [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Signs Netflix Deal With Expanded Coverage

    SAG-AFTRA and streaming giant Netflix have agreed to a new three-year contract with expanded coverage for union performers. Netflix has previously employed SAG-AFTRA members under the union’s standard master contracts for television and film and had been signing on a production by production basis. The union announced Saturday that the new deal recognizes performance capture as covered work [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

  • 'Russian Doll' Star Charlie Barnett Joins

    'Russian Doll' Star Charlie Barnett Joins 'Arrow' Final Season

    “Russian Doll” standout Charlie Barnett is joining the “Arrowverse.” Barnett, who is having a busy year having also appeared in Netflix’s “Tales of the City,” comes on board in the series regular role of John Diggle, Jr., son of David Ramsey’s character. News of his casting was announced at the show’s farewell Comic-Con panel where things [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content