Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research continues to be bullish on Viacom partly because of recent vitality at MTV and its other cable networks.
Pointing to some recent programming successes, plus the buzz surrounding the return of Jersey Shore, Greenfield writes that “investors can no longer say MTV is ‘dead,’ and that the generation that used to watch MTV is now all about video games, texting and social networking. If you put content on TV that speaks to the current generation of teens/young-adults, people watch…it’s still that simple (their parents watch too).”
Greenfield notes that while not every MTV show has been a hit (Warren the Ape), the new season of Teen Mom opened above last year and the new series If You Really Knew Me is off to a solid start.
“While investors are becoming a bit more concerned about the ad market outlook looking out over the next 6-9 months as economic fears are building again, MTV’s ad revenues should continue to accelerate over the course of 2010,” Greenfield says. “MTV’s 2010 upfront was dramatically better than its 2009 upfront, due to ratings’ improvements (which should lead to an acceleration in ad revenue from Q1 2010’s 1% rate).”