Dauman’s Done a Easy Part. Now He Has to Find Viacom Some Hits
February 4, 2016 - Finding Carter
Philippe Dauman’s problem is that his association has too most “Teen Mom” and no “Game of Thrones.”
Dauman, arch executive officer of Viacom Inc. given 2006, combined his energy Thursday by also apropos chairman. But he can’t spend most time celebrating. He’s got to answer a doubt that has bedeviled Viacom: How do we emanate a hit?
The company, that owns a Paramount Pictures film studio, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and some-more than 200 other wire channels, has been suffering. Mega-hits like “Jersey Shore” that beget gibberish even from people who don’t watch them are left from a lineup. Comedy Central mislaid a dual biggest stars, Stephen Colbert to CBS and Jon Stewart to retirement, before he sealed adult with reward cable’s HBO. Paramount placed sixth among a 6 largest film studios in 2015, with a U.S. marketplace share underneath 6 percent and reduction than a third that of personality Universal Studios.
The miss of boffo formula is reflected in a batch price. Viacom finished final in a Standard Poor’s 500 media index final year, disappearing 45 percent. The shares have delivered a sum lapse of 25 percent given Viacom and CBS Corp., once a singular association tranquil by Sumner Redstone, apart into apart entities during a finish of 2005. The Standard Poor’s 500 has returned 92 percent given afterwards — while CBS has delivered 148 percent.
Dauman’s board-room victory, creation him a inheritor to Redstone in a 10-1 vote, usually buys him a bit of time, pronounced Mario Gabelli, whose Gabelli Funds is a second-largest owners of Viacom voting shares after a Redstone family.
“Philippe has 9 months to contend what he is going to do differently,” pronounced Gabelli, who suggests a association cruise a some-more vital tie adult with a association like Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. or Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. “Talking ratings improvements isn’t going to work.”
A Viacom orator forked to spectator gains during several channels in a initial 3 weeks of a year, including VH1, adult 42 percent, Nick@Nite, adult 21 percent, and Spike TV, adult 6 percent, all in a 18-to-49-year-old age organisation advertisers target. The shows doing good embody “Lip Sync Battle” on Spike, Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Love and Hip Hop” on VH1.
Even “Teen Mom,” a existence array about teenage mothers, has been a success. Yet it’s no “Game of Thrones,” a epic HBO array that appeals to a far-reaching operation of age groups and customarily rates among a most-watched programs on wire TV. And that’s what’s missing.
Dauman, 61, got a chairman’s pursuit over a conflict of Shari Redstone, a company’s clamp chair and daughter of Sumner Redstone, 92, who had been executive authority of Viacom and authority of CBS until this week. She had called for an eccentric chairman.
Viacom has attempted to retreat disappearing U.S. promotion sales, that were down 7 percent in 2015, by spending some-more this year on strange wire programming and pledging to furnish some-more cinema and TV shows by Paramount. The formula have nonetheless to bear fruit. Prime-time viewership of MTV, Comedy Central and Spike has declined some-more than 10 percent so distant this season, following identical drops a year ago.
Boosting viewership isn’t easy, as evidenced by a box of “Finding Carter” on MTV. A play about a kidnapped lady who earnings to her biological family. The uncover was ostensible to be a kind of irritable soap show a would tilt in teens. One of a lower-rated MTV prime-time shows, it got canceled in Jan after dual seasons.
Trying to find hits costs money. Operating waste during a TV unit, including a cost of programming and a merger of a U.K.’s Channel 5, increasing 12 percent to some-more than $4 billion final year. Operating income fell 3 percent to $4.1 billion.
One splendid spot: a preschool network Nick Jr., where sum viewership is adult roughly 35 percent in primary time this season, according to Nielsen data. The channel is carrying a artistic resurgence interjection to shows such as “Paw Patrol” and “Shimmer and Shine,” a story of fraternal twin genies who extend 3 wishes a day.
As for Paramount, a studio skeleton to recover 15 films this year, adult from 12 in 2015, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The line-up embody installments in franchises, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of a Shadows” and “Star Trek Beyond,” as good as a uninformed take on a aged epic “Ben-Hur.”
That’s because some investors trust there’s wish for a turnaround.
“Those are fanciful assets,” pronounced Sal Muoio, who heads New York-based S. Muoio Co., that also owns Viacom voting shares. “They have a biggest, youngest thoroughness of viewers, even with a new losses.”