Viacom reported solid Q1 numbers this morning. Revenue up 15% year-over-year to $3.12 billion, ahead of consensus at $2.97 billion. Adjusted EPS to $0.44 vs. consensus of $0.41. Higher revenues were driven by big ratings at Nickelodeon and MTV, as well as a strong performance from recently released video game “Rock Band.”
Viacom also benefitted heavily from the WGA strike, as audiences turned to Viacom’s unscripted franchises like “The Hills” as scripted shows at the newtoworks went into reruns. Children’s show “Sponge Bob Square Pants” was also a big winner.
Michael Learmonth is covering the call live at Silicon Alley Insider:
We’re about to hear from Viacom CEO Phillippe Daumann and Chairman Sumner Redstone on Viacom’s Q1 performance. We’re listening to the call for colour the ad sales climate, Viacom’s progress in digital, and any details on Viacom’s new pay-TV movie channel with MGM and Lions Gate.
Call starts at 8:30 a.m. ET. Standing by.
Call starts with standard Sumner Redstone preamble: “We have all the right ingredients for success at Viacom. Phillippe has brought visionary leadership and a focus on execution… senior managemnt are pushing creativity and efficiency to new heights! I constantly think about what a wise decision it was to ask Phillippe to join as CEO.” (slam, Tom Freston)
Daumann: Wordwide ad sales grew 8%, while U.S. ad sales grew 7% in the quarter. Says he believes Q2 ad sales growth will be comparable to the current quarter.
He’s talking about building connections with consumers. Brings up short-form branded programming with Dove that aired during commercial breaks of “The Hills.”
“In our business there is one fundamental constant: hits matter.” Our ratings are strong which bodes well for us going into the Upfronts. Says ratings in Q1 are up 5% across the board, meaning MTV Networks weathered the writers strike a lot better than the broadcast networks.
Nickelodeon online–2.2 billion page views in Q1.