Viacom Reports Lower Third Quarter Earnings

Cable network profits down as programming costs rise
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Viacom reported lower third-quarter earnings as programming costs reduced profits at its cable networks.

Net income fell 5% to $610 million, or $1.40 a share, from $643 million, or 1.31 a share.

Revenue fell 7% to $3.42 billion

"It was a solid quarter for Viacom. We delivered nearly $1 billion to shareholders through buybacks and dividends and continued to build on our success in creating outstanding content and focused brands that connect deeply with audiences across all platforms,” CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement. “Our Media Networks distribution relationships continue to expand, providing broader opportunities for fans to enjoy Viacom's content. Successful series and high-profile event programming on our networks create powerful experiences for audiences and valuable opportunities for advertisers, while driving industry-leading social engagement.”

At Viacom’s media network group, which includes MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, operating income fell 3% to $1.1 billion as program expenses rose.

Revenue was up 1% to $2.6 billion. Ad revenue was up 1% domestically and 2% worldwide. Affiliate revenue were flat because of larger year-ago streaming video payments from Amazon.

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