Viacom saw growth in overall revenue in the first quarter of the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2018, amid news of the global media giant’s planned acquisition of AVOD service Pluto TV.
The New York-headquartered company saw overall revenues of $3.09 billion, up 1% from the previous year, when it released its quarterly earnings today (Feb. 5).
Overall performance across Viacom’s Media Networks — a portfolio of cable nets which includes MTV, VH1 and Logo — was down 2% ($2.5 billion), with advertising revenue down 6% ($1.23 billion) despite overall affiliate revenue being up 3% ($1.17 billion). The dip was blamed primarily on the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange on international revenues, while the affiliate hike was reportedly driven by contractual rate increases, alongside OTT and studio production revenues.
On the film front, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures saw its eighth consecutive quarter of improvement, climbing 14% ($621 million) over last year thanks largely to scripted films and series like Bumblebee and The Haunting of Hill House.
Meanwhile, operating income, net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom and diluted EPS from continuing operations were all down from last year by as much as 16% ($602 million), 41% ($318 million) and 41% ($790,000), respectively.
“Through strong execution of our strategic priorities, we delivered another quarter of solid financial and operational results,” said Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish (pictured), in a statement. “Beyond the growth at our flagship networks and the resurgence of Paramount Pictures, we took a major step forward in our evolution with an agreement to acquire Pluto TV. This service will create a scaled direct-to-consumer offering for Viacom, and expand our opportunities in next-generation distribution and advanced advertising. With this momentum, we are progressing toward a return to topline growth in 2019 as Viacom continues to evolve for the future.”