Viacom Inc. (VIAB:US) Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said the company’s Paramount Pictures studio will drive growth next year with the expansion of a television channel drawing from its film library.
Viacom, owner of MTV and Nickelodeon cable channels, will increase distribution of the Paramount TV network in European countries next year as well as in Latin America and Asia, Dauman said today at an investor conference in New York sponsored by UBS AG. Within three years the network will be widely distributed, he said at the event, which was webcast.
Paramount’s movie library, with many titles already dubbed or subtitled in languages other than English, provides low-cost programming for the advertising-supported channels, Dauman said. Separately, the unit’s new TV studio is working on shows based on Paramount’s film titles for Viacom’s networks as well as cable and broadcast channels owned by other companies, he said.
“Some are based on movie titles in our library and others are entirely new and original concepts,” Dauman said. “This is a very opportunistic group -- and low-overhead.”
Through an agreement with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, announced last week, Paramount is developing new movies based on the “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Top Gun” films, Dauman also said. The studio is also working on a sequel to “World War Z,” he said. The zombie apocalypse movie starring Brad Pitt generated $540 million in worldwide box office sales this year, according to Imdb.com.
Paramount is releasing “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” on Dec. 18, Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” on Dec. 25 and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” based on Tom Clancy’s books, on Jan. 17, according to Imdb.com. The film unit ranks seventh among major studios this year with $828.9 million in gross domestic sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
Viacom, based in New York, closed little changed at $82.17 in New York. The Class B shares have gained 56 percent this year.
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