Viacom Cable Ads Perk Up

Viacom Cable Ads Perk Up 1Viacom’s U.S. cable ad sales bounced back during the second quarter, but Viacom division’s overall cable revenues increased more modestly.

Company-wide revenue increased 24% to $2.8 billion, but most of that gain came from the acquisition of movie studio DreamWorks. Without that deal, Viacom’s revenues would have increased 9%.

Investors are anxious over the company’s cable unit, composed of MTVN and BET, because they’re unaccustomed to single-digit percentage growth after enjoying roaring gains over the past few years.

The cable unit generated $1.8 billion in total revenue, up 8%. Domestic ad sales rose 10%, better than the alarming 6% posted during the first quarter. License fees from cable and DBS operators increased 10%.

The company’s international cable operations, however, fared much worse. Foreign ad revenues dropped 2%, and strong 13% growth in license fees stemmed largely from an acquisition rather than internal health.