It looks like a fun game -- and a really interesting way for BRAVO to gain consumer-viewer data and low-cost programming advice. We say, "let's play."
Viacom, owner of the Paramount film studio and cable networks such as Nickelodeon and MTV, has reported quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates after advertising sales dropped the most in more than two years.
Pepsi’s celebrity-infused “Live for Now” global ad campaign, which launched May 7, will get digital boost this summer from media conglomerate Viacom. Viacom’s Twitter accounts for MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central will aid in the campaign’s mission of “inviting and inspiring” people to live in the moment — and sharing those moments on social networks with relevant hashtags.
Not so long ago, in 2005, Blockbuster seemed invincible. However you preferred to rent movies — in stores or online — the company was ready to accommodate you. At the time, Netflix could offer only one way of obtaining a movie (the mail) and one way of returning it (the mail). It was clicks, with no bricks. Of course, we now know that Netflix has done just fine. In January 2005, its shares traded in the $11 range. On Friday, they closed at $140.46, giving the company a market capitalization of $7.35 billion. As for Blockbuster, which was spun off from Viacom in 2004, it’s now a penny stock, and its woes are as visible as the “Closing” banner in the window of a store in your neighborhood.
Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks bought social gaming company Social Express Inc., marking its first move in a space that's helped sites like Facebook Inc. reel in users. MTV, which owns online gaming sites such as Shockwave.com, will create games with original content as well as shows and characters from its networks, according to a statement today. It also plans to start a platform for independent game developers.
Since March 2007, when Viacom first accused Google in a $1 billion lawsuit of profiting off thousands of unauthorized copyrighted clips that once appeared on YouTube, most of the conflict had smoldered out of public view. Once the case documents were unsealed on Thursday, all the spite roared into the open. Google attacked Viacom for chopping up e-mails from YouTube's founders in an obvious attempt to invent sinister-sounding messages. In Viacom's motion for summary judgment, the parent company of Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures railed against Google and YouTube for developing "serial amnesia" during depositions and also for failing "to preserve and produce" key documents--a no-no in civil proceedings. So, is this just legal gamesmanship, or have both sides gone too far?
The U.S. District Court has just made public the documentation in the controversial Viacom vs. YouTube case. It's a goldmine of data, most of which is really dirty mud-slinging by Viacom, based on internal emails from YouTube's past. Google's been quick off the mark to react to the unsealing of the court documents, and has a blog post defending its position and decrying Viacom's tactics already. Viacom's argument, it says, is based on misconstruing "isolated lines from a handful of emails" from way back in YouTube's history, and spinning this information into the suggestion that YouTube was "founded with bad intentions." The post also alleges that Viacom "secretly uploaded its content to YouTube," and then roughed up the footage to make it appear to have been leaked.
In the first major fracture between television show owners and the wildly popular Hulu.com, Viacom will remove “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report” and other Comedy Central programs from the video site next week. The companies said Tuesday evening that they were parting amicably, but Viacom’s decision is a serious loss for Hulu. This week “The Daily Show” is listed as the third-most-watched show on the site, behind “Lost” and “Family Guy.” The decision also highlights the large gulf between the expectations of consumers — who demand a wealth of free and easily accessible content on the Internet — and the media companies, who are seeking a more profitable business model online.
Conan O'Brien's exit from NBC may allow the Fox network to jump back into late-night television. But first Fox has to sell the idea to its corporate brass and to the managers of the 205 Fox stations, some of whom have reservations. Fox has been mulling a late-night talk show with Mr. O'Brien, who is likely to host his last episode of "The Tonight Show" on Friday after a dispute with NBC over plans to push back the show's air time by half an hour. Fox has said it won't broach the subject in earnest until Mr. O'Brien leaves NBC, which is finalizing the terms of the comedian's departure.
What started out as an amusing cartoon a decade ago is turning into a major marketing franchise for Viacom, which unveiled T-shirts and a jewelry line last week to kick off a merchandising campaign around its iconic SpongeBob SquarePants character.
In an effort to stave off the dismantling of his media empire, Sumner M. Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS, recently proposed to sell his family’s 1,500-screen theater chain in an effort to restructure his large debt load.