Viacom Inc. at a Glance

Uppers

  • Parent company of the most viewed networks on television

Downers

  • Increased competition by network television and big name movie studios
  • At times, younger, edgier brands like MTV have aired very controversial material

The Bottom Line

  • Viacom is a leading global content company delivering entertainment across the globe through television, motion picture and digital media.

About Viacom Inc.

Viacom is a leading media conglomerate with an extensive portfolio of cable TV and film production assets. Its MTV Networks unit runs such cable networks as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and the family of MTV channels (MTV, MTV2, VH1). Viacom also owns Black Entertainment Television, which airs programming on BET, BET Gospel, and BET Hip Hop. In the film business, Viacom operates through Paramount Pictures, which includes imprints Paramount Pictures and Paramount Vantage. Viacom has a presence in more than 180 countries and territories primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Operations

Viacom operates through two reporting segments: Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment.

Media Networks provides entertainment content and related branded products for consumers in demographics attractive to advertisers, content distributors and retailers through three brand groups: the Global Entertainment Group, the Nickelodeon Group and BET Networks. The largest segment which accounts for about 80% of company’s total revenue.

Filmed Entertainment produces, finances, acquires and distributes motion pictures, television programming and other entertainment content under the Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films and Paramount Television brands.

Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina) and Paramount Channel, reach more than 3.9 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide.

Geographic Reach

The US contributes about 75% of the company's revenue and International markets account for about 25%.

Sales and Marketing

The company's Music & Entertainment group (including Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and Classic, Spike, and Logo) focuses on music-lovers, youth, and young adults. The Kids & Family group (Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, Nick Jr, TeenNick, Nicktoons, CMT, and TV Land) targets kids ages 2-17 and their families, while BET dominates the important urban demographic with entertainment, music, and special interest programming.

Viacom does not have the broad complement of media assets that characterize integrated conglomerates such as Time Warner and Walt Disney, but the company still realizes some potential by integrating its TV and film businesses, such as through DVD sales and cross-promotion. Viacom itself incurred total advertising expenses of $748 million in fiscal 2015.

Financial Performance

The company's revenue was $12.49 billion in fiscal 2016. That was a decrease compared to its fiscal 2015 revenue of almost $13.3 billion. The drop was mainly due to decreased sales from the Filmed Entertainment unit partially offset by an increase in media network revenue.

Viacom's net income was $1.4 billion in fiscal 2016, which was a decrease compared to the prior fiscal period when the company claimed a net income of more than $1.9 billion. The decrease was largely caused by the combination of decreased revenue and increased operating expenses.

However, even with decreased revenue and net income the company ended fiscal 2016 with $1.3 billion in cash on hand from operations.

Strategy

Viacom's strategy includes expanding its relationships with advertising, cable, satellite, digital, mobile, and licensing partners to develop new ways to deepen its connection with audiences through insightful research and the development of content that resonates with targeted audiences.

What particularly drives Viacom's business is its success in building entertainment brands. The company is notable for creating and promoting such names as MTV and Nickelodeon into easily recognizable banners that stand for a particular form of entertainment.

Viacom has been looking to expand its reach into digital media in an effort to reach its young and increasingly online target audience.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017 Viacom planned to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive. The agreement is pending between the two companies. In 2016, Viacom acquired Spain-based Telefonica S.A., one of the main free-to-air channels in Argentina for $345 million. The acquisition improved the company's growth in Argentina, one of the most advanced and valuable media markets in Latin America.

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Viacom Inc.

1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901
Phone: 1 (212) 258-6000
Fax: 1 (212) 258-6175

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: VIAB, VIA
  • Stock Exchange: NASDAQ, NASDAQ
  • President, CEO, and Director: Robert M. Bakish
  • Chairman: Thomas J. May
  • Vice Chairman: Shari E. Redstone
  • 2017 Employees: 11,650

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

Other Locations

  • Burbank, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Manhattan Beach, CA
  • Van Nuys, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Saco, ME
  • Waxhaw, NC
  • Secaucus, NJ
  • Hauppauge, NY
  • Woodside, NY
  • Dallas, TX
  • North York, Canada
  • København, Denmark
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Oslo, Norway
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