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Amid Nickelodeon growth, Viacom unveils new strategy

As Q1 2017 saw Nickelodeon's best ratings performance in five years, parentco Viacom has launched a new plan to emphasize the kidsnet as well as five other flagship brands.
February 9, 2017

As part of its long-awaited company reorg, media giant Viacom has announced a five-point turnaround plan that puts six flagship brandsincluding Nickelodeon and digital contentfront and center.

OutlinedĀ in today’s first quarter 2017 earnings report, the new strategy will focus on significant and increased resource investment for BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount.

The plan will see Viacom rebrand its Spike channel as The Paramount Network in early 2018, conveying its commitment to keep the Paramount studio. Paramount’s film slate will now include co-branded releases from each of Viacom’s flagship brands, as well as Paramount-branded films.

The arrangement will also see Nickelodeon and Paramount launch a slate of four theatrical films, with the first, Amusement Park, set to premiere in summer 2018. It will be followed by a Nick TV series adaptation in 2019.

Other elements of the plan include a deepening of partnerships to drive digital revenue, growth of Viacom’s live experiences and consumer products business, and the creation of the company’s first-ever short-form content unit, which will feature new original IP and existing programming.

The changes come amid better than expected results for the period ending December 31, 2016.

Viacom reported revenues of US$3.3 billion, representing a 5% increase versus the same period a year ago.

The growth was driven by improved theatrical revenues, which shot up 104% to US$192 million, increased domestic and international affiliate revenues (up 2% to US$985 million and 3% to US$159 million, respectively), as well as 20% and 86% ancillary revenue growth for Viacom’s Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment groups, respectively.

For Nickelodeon, the kidsnet reported its best performance in the kids six to 11 demo in five years, taking the top spot for the quarter. The strong performance was buoyed by more than 140 episode launches of new and returning series (like The Loud House, pictured) and specials.

In other Media Networks results, advertising revenue declined 2% to US$1.29 billion. A 3% drop in domestic advertising revenue was attributed to softer ratings at certain networks.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.

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