Viacom CEO expects Q2 Paramount, Dish deals

Mar 07, 2016, 2:31 PM EST
Source: Medialand/flickr

Viacom's CEO Philippe Dauman said he expects Paramount and Dish deals in Q2.

Reuters reports:

"I am very confident we are going to get to a mutually beneficial outcome and I expect we will get to that point next quarter," Dauman said speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet, & Telecom Conference Monday afternoon. Dauman had said last month during Viacom's earnings call that the New York-based media company had entered into a short-term extension of its distribution agreement with Dish.

Deadline writes:

Dauman says he feels “very good about the kind of partners we’re talking to” to buy a minority stake in Paramount. A deal “will provide strategic benefits for Paramount and likely for Viacom generally” and enable the studio to look “past the disappointing operating performance of the last several years.” He suggested that the right partner would offer “primarily international and digital” benefits to the studio. “It’s a crown jewel out there” that has “an iconic studio with a very high-quality library which is continually being replenished.” That could give a potential stakeholder a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity … to get a significant interest in a major studio at a premium valuation.” While Dauman says the cash might “accelerate the development of Paramount,” he’s especially eager to “get our leverage ratio down” — which is on his mind as Viacom faces a $150 million debt maturity next month. He added that he might also look for other business opportunities. “Whatever we don’t need for those purposes we return to shareholders,” he says.

Variety notes:

Dauman was bullish about the prospects of a new deal with Dish to carry Viacom’s cable channels. Renewal talks had been expected to be potentially rocky, but Dauman predicted a deal would be in place next quarter. “We have a long and strong relationship,” said Dauman. “I’m very confident we’re going to get to a mutually beneficial outcome.” New digital players are threatening the business model for cable providers and could imperil lucrative sources of revenue for content creators such as Viacom. Dauman acknowledged that the television industry has been slow to adapt to the modern, on-demand age, but suggested the creators are well positioned to thrive in the new environment.