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Viacom Plots Launch of Streaming Service

Viacom, which has been in turnaround mode for a few years, is seeing new paths toward growth, according to its top executive.

Bob Bakish, who has been CEO of the New York entertainment conglomerate for the past 14 months, said the company is planning a new over-the-top streaming product that will seek to make use of thousands of hours of Viacom’s “library product” and advertising, he said during a briefing at an investor conference organized by Morgan Stanley. The service is expected to launch later this year.

Bakish acknowledged he was being “cryptic,” but suggested the product could add to the company’s performance. Viacom executives had previously mentioned the service on a call with investors early this month. It is expected to make use of content that has not be licensed to other streaming services.

Bakish noted he saw other improving dynamics at the company, which operates MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and the Paramount movie studio. He said he expected Paramount’s performance to stabilize and improve heading into 2019 and noted its TV-production had ramped up in recent months. Paramount produces the new TNT series “The Alienist,” for example. He also expects to gain revenue from mobile, citing a deal stuck earlier this month with Telefónica that makes a wide range of Viacom’s TV channels and content available for streaming by subscribers of the Movistar Play platform in Latin America.

More to come….

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