Viacom Reports Strong Profits Despite Soft Ad and Game Sales
Ad revenues across Viacom's TV properties -- which include MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon -- were down 3% to 1.3 billion in the fourth quarter. That marks a mild improvement, as full-year ad revenues were down 7% year-over-year. Affiliate fees for Viacom's cable networks and the performance of several blockbuster movies, including Transformers 2 and Star Trek, helped offset the ad losses.
In its earnings release, the company singled out lower 2009 sales of Rock Band as a major contributor to a 31% falloff in ancillary revenues. This even though a special Beatles edition of the game released last fall sold better than expected and was a widely-anticipated cultural event.