Viacom Plans International Rollout For Spike Channel

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT

Sumner Redstone Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of FameCEO Philippe Dauman just disclosed his plan to add Spike to Viacom‘s overseas pay TV offerings, joining a portfolio that includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and the Paramount Channel. “We’re doing a little bit of proof of concept,” he said today at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. Spike TV logoHe’s optimistic because “we have been creating a lot of original programming on Spike itself,” and much of it — especially scripted shows — is “able to travel.” Overseas expansion is “a big, big opportunity” for Viacom and he sees distribution deals in countries including Brazil, Italy, and Russia helping to “fuel long-term growth” for the cable operation. In addition, “we look at India and think of our company a quarter century ago. It’s a great value creation opportunity.” Dauman also is taking a global view for Paramount. Read More »

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UPDATE: Stephen Colbert At Head Table For White House State Dinner; JJ Abrams, Bradley Cooper, Viacom’s Philippe Dauman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & CNN’s Jeff Zucker Also Attend

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 3:52pm PST

white_house-300x168UPDATE: 7:01 PM: Michelle Obama could have turned to the guy seated next to her at the head table during tonight’s White House State Dinner and asked if he’s heard any good jokes lately. That would be none … Read More »

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Viacom CEO Touts EPIX Along With International And Digital Opportunities

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 6:43am PST

Philippe Dauman always seems to see Viacom through rose colored glasses when he talks with analysts, and continued to do so in his presentation this morning to discuss the company’s latest earnings report. viacom daumanRead More »

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Viacom CEO Sees A “Strong Chance” An Online Pay TV Service Will Launch in 2014: UBS Confab

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 10:37am PST

That would be huge if Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s prediction is accurate — although he declined to elaborate in his presentation today at the UBS Global Media and Commmunications Conference. Philippe Dauman head shotViacom reportedly has talked with Sony about teaming up to offer an online service that would include the same kind of channels that now are only available to cable and satellite TV subscribers. Many programmers fear that a national online service could undermine their ability to sell their channels in bundles that require people to pay for services that they don’t watch. Intel met stiff resistance from cable networks when it proposed to introduce what’s known as an over-the-top service, and now wants to sell its technology. Read More »

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Viacom Execs Talk Up Sequels And Miley Cyrus, But Warn That Costs Will Rise

By | Thursday November 14, 2013 @ 7:38am PST

Paramount will continue to ride movie franchises Mission Impossible, Star Trek, GI Joe, and World War Z and roll out animated films for SpongeBob SquarePants and Monster Trucks, the company told analysts this morning as execs offered a rosy picture of Viacom’s growth prospects. CEO Philippe Dauman also crowed about the attention that Miley Cyrus’ sexually charged dancing brought to MTV’s Video Music Awards in August, calling it a “moment that is still reverberating across the pop culture landscape.” But some investors likely will be more concerned about the company’s acknowledgement that the original programming planned for its pay TV networks will drive costs up by a high single digit rate in 2014. “Original programming gives us the ability to build our brand better,” Dauman says. “It creates a lot of value for us.” In addition, Viacom says that its stock repurchases — which accelerated to $2.7B in the September quarter — will come closer to $850M in the three months ending in December. Read More »

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Viacom CEO Vows To Promote Profits By Controlling Movie And TV Costs

By | Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 11:54am PDT

That doesn’t necessarily mean Viacom will skimp on spending where needed, CEO Philippe Dauman told investors at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. For example, Paramount has a new Transformers film planned for next year that has “a very high budget but very low risk. Same with Mission: Impossible and some of the other franchises.” With new versions of its latest franchise, World War Z, “we will alleviate the risk by bringing in co-financing.” Broadly speaking, though, “we have a history even in tough times of maintaining or growing margins” and that means keeping “a tight lid on expenses, including in programming.” At the movie studio Dauman expects to distribute about 15 films a year including three animated titles in 2015. But he adds that he’s “excited” about next month’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa with Johnny Knoxville, which Dauman calls “a fun movie, and a profitable one.” He’s also optimistic about Paramount’s revived television production operation. Read More »

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Viacom CEO Says Flood Of Summer Tentpoles Hurt Film Profits

Philippe Dauman jumped on the bandwagon of media execs lamenting the oversupply of big-budget films competing with each other this summer. Although he told analysts this morning that Viacom will see Read More »

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Viacom Earnings Rise With Help From ‘Star Trek’ As It Doubles Share Repurchase Plan

The devil’s going to be in the details for investors who want to see from the latest earnings report how basic operations performed in the June quarter without help from two successful tentpole films (Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z), and a streaming deal with Read More »

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Judge Tosses Viacom Shareholder’s Suit Over Bonuses For Company’s Top Brass

By | Thursday July 18, 2013 @ 2:22pm PDT

Rest easy, Sumner Redstone, Philippe Dauman and Thomas Dooley: You won’t have to give up millions of your bucks after all. Eleven months after a Viacom shareholder sued the company to get back $36.6MRead More »

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Viacom Chief Scoffs At John McCain’s Effort To Bust Pay TV Bundles

By | Wednesday May 29, 2013 @ 12:54pm PDT

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman had better hope he doesn’t have to testify at a congressional hearing where Sen. John McCain’s asking the questions. The entertainment exec gave the back of his hand today to the Read More »

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Viacom CEO Says Digital Video Sales On Track Despite Changes With Netflix

By | Wednesday May 1, 2013 @ 6:37am PDT

Shares opened up more than 4% this morning after Philippe Dauman reassured investors that Viacom will continue to generate lots of cash from deals with streaming services — even if its program licensing pact with Netflix expires at the end of this month. “We’re still in discussions with Netflix…and with others,” he told analysts in a conference call. “We’re open to licensing content, some of it on an exclusive basis.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings raised some fears last week when he said that his company would let its current deal with Viacom expire. Netflix is shifting its focus to “exclusive and curated content” as opposed to “non-exclusive, bulk content deals,” he said. The streaming service would be fine without Nickelodeon shows because “with all the recently added fresh programming from Disney, Cartoon Network, Hasbro’s The Hub and DreamWorks Animation, we have a great kids offering.” But Dauman also says that Viacom has little to fear without Netflix — and has “enough visibility” to know that the entertainment company can realize its forecast to see streaming revenues grow 10% this fiscal year. Read More »

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Philippe Dauman Says “Lawyers Will Get Rich” From Cablevision Suit

By | Monday March 4, 2013 @ 10:14am PST

UPDATE, 11:36 AM: Cablevision’s returning fire following Dauman’s comments today. “The tactics employed by Viacom are illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong, and force Cablevision’s customers to take and pay for more than a dozen channels they don’t … Read More »

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Viacom’s Philippe Dauman Makes $33.45M In 2012, A 22.4% Cut

By | Friday January 25, 2013 @ 2:17pm PST

The drop reflects a decline in one-time stock awards and non-equity incentives — and isn’t a reflection of the company’s view of the CEO’s performance — according to the proxy statement Viacom just filed at the SEC. Viacom … Read More »

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MTV Renews ‘Catfish’ For Second Season

By | Wednesday December 19, 2012 @ 12:52pm PST

Just over a month after it debuted, MTV announced today that Catfish: The TV Show will be coming back for a second season in 2013. Based on the 2010 documentary Catfish, the show debuted on November … Read More »

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Philippe Dauman Doesn’t Rule Out A ‘Book Of Mormon’ Movie, But Discourages Talk Of Studio Consolidation

The Viacom CEO told an investor conference this morning that his company has “a small investment” in the Broadway musical hit from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. And although he didn’t directly address a question about whether Paramount might turn The Book Of Mormon into a film, he seemed to indicate that it’s a possibility: “We love working with the two of them,” he said, adding that “we always look for opportunities to work with them.” He made the comments at the Gabelli Best Ideas Conference where, in reviewing Viacom’s operations, he touted recent changes at Paramount. With a strategy designed to minimize risk, he says, “you’ll never see us with a John Carter” — a reference to Disney’s big-budget disappointment this year. He supported the effort to slash Paramount’s production slate from as many as 30 releases a year to about 15 “concentrating on franchise films and our brands…We have been reducing the overhead at Paramount year after year.” He added that “the film business is one where you have to control the cost.” Read More »

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Philippe Dauman Touts Viacom’s Overseas Growth Plans: UBS Confab

By | Monday December 3, 2012 @ 10:40am PST

This is part of the Viacom chief’s no-worries pitch to Wall Street, where many investors have been freaked out by the ratings woes at Nickelodeon and MTV. “We’re looking to expand everywhere in the world” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said … Read More »

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Viacom Chief Says MTV Is “Not Broken”

By | Thursday November 15, 2012 @ 7:23am PST

Investor concerns about the channel’s 31% drop in primetime ratings this season vs last year have contributed to the 13% decline in Viacom‘s stock price since early October. But CEO Philippe Dauman assured analysts this morning that MTVRead More »

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Sheri Redstone Back In Succession Talk At Viacom And CBS: WSJ

By | Friday October 26, 2012 @ 10:34am PDT

It had long been thought that after a falling out with his daughter years ago that Viacom and CBS Corp chairman Sumner Redstone would hand over the keys to his empire to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. But the 89-year-old Redstone told the Wall Street Journal that he’s still deciding on who will replace him to oversee his controlling interest in both companies, and that “my family will ultimately inherit the business”. “It hasn’t been decided yet who will be my successor. And Philippe knows it”, the mogul told the WSJ in an interview published today. “He knows that Shari might be my successor and it’s not a competitive race between them. We have to see what happens.” Shari Redstone, 58, controls 20% of National Amusements, the holding company that controls Viacom and CBS Corp, with her father holding the rest of the stake. Combined, their holdings in Viacom and CBS are worth about $3.5 billion, the paper says. “Philippe understands that my family is important and it could be Shari. I don’t say it will be. It could be either one or both,” Redstone said, adding later that it is likely Dauman would inherit his chairman role at Viacom and that CBS CEO Les Moonves would become chairman of CBS (though after the WSJ interview, Redstone emailed the paper to say that the boards of the companies will “ultimately decide who becomes chairman of each company”). Read More »

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Viacom Wants Executive Pay Lawsuit Tossed

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 2:11pm PDT

The company has pushed back on a lawsuit that claimsViacom chairman Sumner Redstone, CEO Philippe Dauman, COO Thomas Dooley and other board members were overpaid by $36.6 million. “Defendants respectfully request that the Court dismiss the Complaint with prejudice,” said Viacom’s lawyers in a memorandum (read it here) accompanying the motion filed yesterday in Delaware. “Viacom and the Director Defendants (together, the “Defendants”) bring this motion …on the grounds that no demand was made on the Board to bring suit and the Complaint does not adequately allege demand on the Board would be futile and hence excused.” The company also says that shareholder Robert Freedman has not shown in his suit that the board isn’t independent and didn’t make the payout based on evaluated performance of the compensated executives. Freedman filed his initial complaint August 17. He wants the executives to repay the $36,645.750 they received plus his legal fees.
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