Earnings: Viacom Call: Ad Revenue Up 8 Percent; Strong Ratings Across Networks

This story was written by Joseph Weisenthal.
Work in progress Quarters like this only increase Sumner Redstone's love for Viacom (NYSE: VIA) CEO Philippe Dauman: "It's always great to start the day off with great news I constantly think what a wise decision it was to ask Philippe to join Viacom as CEO and Tom as CFO." Meanwhile, Dauman must've figured that he couldn't spend the whole call talking about on video game, so after a quick run down of the numbers, he's talking up strong ratings across the company's cable business: record ratings for shows like The Hills, as well as networks like VH1, Comedy Central, and Spike. He's also talking up how Viacom's parlayed its hit brands into strong digital traffic. Overall, ad revenue was up 8 percent at the media business, although for the most part, he's just talking about ratings, rather than dollars. Later, CFO Tom Dooley said that ex-currency effects, ad growth came to 7 percent, the same growth rate as its domestic ads.

-- Rock Band: "This is a major new brand and we have to nurture it and grow it the same way we do our television franchises." The game will be launching in Europe this month and for the Wii this summer.

-- New pay TV network: "We will control our own destiny we are exploring multiple distribution platforms and partnerships that also contemplate emerging content delivery." Dauman promised that the network would have fresh announcements in the coming weeks.

By Joseph Weisenthal