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Strong Box Office Sales Allow Viacom to Beat Earnings Estimate

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Viacom's net income increased by 41.4 percent to $376 million

The results are in, and Viacom is doing nicely, thank you.

For the three months ended March 31, net income for Viacom – which owns MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon – increased by 41.4 percent to $376 million, or 93 cents a share, the company said. Excluding items, the company earned 95 cents a share, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations for 80 cents a share.

The earnings-per-share beat was offset, however, by a 6 percent drop in revenue to $2.27 billion, falling short of estimates for $3.06 billion, it reported. The company cited shrinking distribution fees for the revenue miss as it transitions content and advertising beyond pay-TV platforms.

Much of the excitement at Viacom surrounds Pluto TV, the ad-supported streaming platform that it acquired in January for $340 million.

Days ago, execs announced new premium content partnerships with premier networks, studios, and digital media brands. These new partnerships, with premium content providers such as Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and Warner Bros. will power the 100+ channels found on Pluto TV with content that includes thousands of hit movies and TV shows. These partnerships will provide Pluto TV viewers with free access to movies such as MGM’s Silence of the Lambs and The Usual Suspects, and Lionsgate’s Haywire, Brothers, & Bad Boys as well as complete TV shows like Warner Bros.’s The Ben Stiller Show and Super Fun Night.

“Today’s partnerships announcement, with some of the world’s foremost content providers, further establishes Pluto TV’s commitment to its viewers,” said Tom Ryan, CEO of Pluto TV, in a release. “Now our viewers can watch their favorite movies and TV shows, while continuing to discover unique and rare programming found on Pluto TV.”

“We are delighted to be in business with Pluto TV,” said Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. “They have developed a terrific new offering for the constantly changing TV ecosystem.”

The new content, the company said, will expand programming on Pluto TV channels such as The Crime Network (ch. 504), which focuses on everything crime-related, Horror 24/7 (ch. 709), which showcases all things scary, The Feed (ch. 301), which covers the latest innovations in technology, Funny AF (ch. 250) a channel dedicated to comedy and Action Movies (ch. 704), which highlights the best of car chases and explosions. Other titles will include MGM’s The Birdcage, Thelma & Louise, Mad Max, Dances With Wolves, and Lars and the Real Girl.

“Pluto TV is an ideal partner as MGM’s storied premium content is now accessible to new viewers through their vast network of programming channels,” said John Bryan, MGM’s President, Domestic Television Distribution.

Viewers will be able to enjoy the new content on more than 100 channels of programming by accessing Pluto TV in the living room (Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, Smart TVs including Vizio, Hisense, and Sony, and gaming consoles such as PS4), on the go (apps for iOS, Android, and Amazon), at their fingertips on PC and Mac, or on the web at www.Pluto.TV.

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