Highlights from Viacom Earnings Call

On November 9th, Viacom held their Q3 2016 (technically their Q4, full year) earnings call. Here are the highlights

Change in Leadership:

Tom Dooley, the current CEO, will step down next week.  Robert Bakish, who managed Viacom’s international business, will take over.

Financials – Total:

Full year total revenue of $12.5B was 6% lower than the $13.3B in FY 2015.  Total revenue for the quarter was $3.2B down 15% YoY.


Net income was $1.4B in the fiscal year, down from $1.9 billion or 25% the previous year. In the most recent quarter, profits tanked by 71% to $254MM



Financials – Media Networks (MTV, VH1, Nick, etc…):

Advertising revenue in the quarter was down 8% YoY to $1.2B, Affiliate Fees were down 16% to $1.2B The one bright spot was ancillary revenue growing 11% to $173MM, compared to $156MM in last year’s quarter.


Financials – Theatrical (Paramount):

Quarterly theatrical revenue of $203MM was less than half the $447MM that came in last year.  Several 2016 movies have underperformed, including Star Trek Beyond, Ben-Hur (2016) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, especially when compared YoY to the box office results of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Terminator: Genisys.


Box Office (in millions) US Gross International  Total
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $82 $164 $246
Star Trek Beyond $159 $184 $343
Ben-Hur $26 $68 $94
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation $195 $487 $682
Terminator: Genisys $90 $351 $441

Source: BoxOfficeMojo

Up Coming Theatrical Releases:

Viacom was bullish on their upcoming film slate. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back already launched this quarter and is doing well internationally.  Two films will premiere in November and three in December.  They also touted their summer 2017 release of Transformer: The Last Knight.

  • November 11 – Arrival: Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.
  • November 23 – Allied: Starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard
  • December 9 – Office Christmas Party: Starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman
  • December 23 – Silence: Starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver (Directed by Martin Scorsese)
  • December 25 – Fences: Starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis




TV Ratings:

Comedy Central’s South Park season premiere (its 20th) was viewed by 3.7MM viewers, up 27% from last year’s premiere, and is a series high since 2006. It ranks as the year’s highest cable premiere among Millennial men.  Legends of Chamberlain Heights, which benefitted by following South Park, had the highest-rated series premiere for Comedy Central among Adults 18-49 since the January 2014 premiere of “Broad City.  In August they announced the cancelation of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.

Nickelodeon marked its 5th straight quarter as the #1 kids’ network, as well as holding a clean sweep of the top programming spots among kids 2-11, kids 6-11 and kids 2-5 for the most recently completed quarter. For Q3, The Thundermans was the top kids’ show on TV for kids 2-11 and 6-11.

Virtual MVPDs:

Viacom networks were dropped by Sony PlayStation Vue, but said on the call that negotiations were still taking place.  They are currently up on SlingTV and will be included in AT&T’s DirecTV Now service.  Still in preliminary talks with Google for their Unplugged service.

International Focus:

With the new CEO having run their international operations, it’s no surprise how focused he is on foreign markets.  Pay TV penetration is growing so much overseas, Mr. Bakish sees it at the key to their long term success.  On the call he said Trevor Noah does better internationally than John Stewart did, and that South Park is a global franchise that resonates internationally. The company will make content investments that suit the needs of global viewers.



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