Viacom inks multi-picture deal with Netflix

MUMBAI: Entertainment conglomerate Viacom has entered into a multi-picture deal with over the top (OTT) Netflix. The partnership will further expand upon other work it has done for the streaming video service including TV series’ like ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and ‘Maniac’.

Viacom also said it will make more films and TV shows for other companies. The company’s chief executive Bob Bakish said that the entertainment company wants to become a global supplier of multi-platform content.

“All of the recent activity around vertical integration only serves the demand for high-quality producers. We will start with content, which is fueling our transformation and then move to how we monetise it through ad sales and distribution. When it comes to content, our goal is to be a preeminent global supplier of multiplatform entertainment created for our owned and operated networks and platforms and increasingly for others,” Bakish said during an earnings conference call with analysts.

“We’ve already made significant progress against this important goal. To achieve that we’ve been focused on two overarching objectives. First, continually improving our content engine by strengthening teams, evolving our programming mix and working with top talent. And second, by expanding how and where our content is deployed to make the most of our IP and creative assets and capabilities.”

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos further stated that the company saw plenty of opportunities to expand the size of its film and TV production business as buyers’ “appetite continues to increase.”

In the con-call Viacom, management said that its slate of TV shows will grow by close to 50% next year to 13 shows. Whereas, revenue from TV production across Viacom, owner of cable networks MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, is expected to double to about $1 billion in a couple of years.

It also said that overall company revenue in fiscal 2019 will rise by mid-single-digit percentages, driven by growth from both TV and films. Adjusted operating income will rise in the low-single digital percentage range, they said.

With this deal, Viacom and sister company CBS Corp are redoubling efforts to become original content resources for other distributors.

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