Strong performance by cable channels lifts Viacom profits

US media company Viacom has credited its 11 per cent rise in first-quarter profits to a large increase in ad sales revenues from its cable channels.

US media company Viacom has credited its 11 per cent rise in

first-quarter profits to a large increase in ad sales revenues from its

cable channels.



Ad revenues from both MTV Networks and Nickleodeon rose by 20 per cent

on the previous quarter.



Viacom’s first-quarter profits for this year beat Wall Street’s official

forecast of a 6 per cent rise.



Sumner Redstone, chief executive of Viacom, said he was confident the

advertising boom would continue, stating: ’We are witnessing a bull

market in advertising.’



It was also announced the company will float MTVi, the internet

properties of MTV, but Redstone stressed Viacom would choose its timing

carefully before proceeding.



The results coincide with reports that the proposed merger between

Viacom and CBS would be given the go-ahead by the Federal Communications

Commission with the proviso that both parties sell off certain

businesses.



Revenue at Viacom’s entertainment division, which includes film and TV,

declined by 3 per cent. This was attributed to the lack of significant

cinema releases for this quarter.



However, Redstone predicted a strong box-office intake for Mission

Impossible II and Shaft, which will be released in the second quarter.



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