Viacom sees ad-market recovery

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Viacom Inc. reported results Thursday for the first quarter ended March 31.

According to Reuters, Viacom posted a net loss of $1.11 billion, or 63 cents
per share, compared with a loss of $7.3 million, or breakeven on a per-share
basis, in the same period last year.

Excluding a writedown for Blockbuster Inc., the company's profit was $367.4 million, or 21 cents per share.

While the company posted a 1.4 percent decline in revenue -- reflecting the lingering effects of the worst advertising slump in years at CBS and the
Infinity Broadcasting Corp. radio unit -- Viacom said it expects the current quarter's ad revenues to be higher than last year.

The television unit -- which includes CBS, United Paramount Network, 34 television stations and production studios -- posted a 20 percent decline in cash flow on a 9
percent drop in revenues as a result of the soft ad market.

But the company's cable unit -- which includes MTV: Music Television, Nickelodeon and VH1 -- posted a 12 percent jump in cash flow on a 5 percent increase in revenues.

Cable results were also boosted by affiliate fees paid by cable and satellite operators.

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