Viacom Profits Surge, But Home Entertainment Revenues Stumble

Viacom (NYSE: VIA) showed the true benefits of having the dual revenue streams of advertising and cable, as its networks division, which includes its MTV Networks, saw dollars rise 6.4 percent and profit gain 14 percent. Still the effects of the recession couldn’t be ignored on the revenue front overall, as the company did little better than last year.

Online content licensing fees and consumer products sales also trended higher. But that was offset by lower music video game royalties. However, despite the slump its gaming series Rock Band has been in, Viacom did say that declines were slowing for that franchise.

In contrast to Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), which claimed success in Q2 with DVD sales thanks to the rental window delays agreed to by Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and Redbox, Viacom’s filmed entertainment revenues were down 10 percent to $1.25 billion due to lower home entertainment revenues, which declined 43 percent in the quarter. The company blamed “third party distribution agreements” for the decline. It wasn’t a total loss for the segment, however, as worldwide theatrical revenues grew 10 percent in the quarter on solid performance of Marvel (NYSE: DIS) Studios’ Iron Man 2 and DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever After. More to come