As Viacom‘s Media Nets delivered 16% growth in 1Q rev to $2bln and operating income of $694mln (+15%), execs touted the future growth opportunities expected from the planned premium net/VOD initiative involving Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. "This new venture is a perfect fit with our strategy of driving our content onto every platform," said pres/CEO Philippe Dauman Fri. "The level of interest and in many cases enthusiasm has been extremely encouraging to us." Viacom is the venture’s lead investor and plans to contribute up to $100mln as a significant but not majority owner of the net. As for Viacom’s existing channels, Nick, Comedy Central and TV Land powered the media nets’ 8% rise in ad rev to $1bln, and global affil rev jumped 13%. Dauman cited several examples of net- and series-related multiplatform successes, including Nick’s "Kids’ Choice Awards" and "iCarly." This year’s awards show drew a record 7.4mln viewers and a record 1.7mln uniques to Nick.com, with ad sales increasing more than 20% across all platforms, he said. "iCarly," meanwhile, averaged 2.8mln total viewers/ep in 1Q, and iCarly.com delivered 3.3mln (+22% sequentially) uniques in Mar, receiving more than 100K UG content submissions. Viacom shares fell 1% Fri, and SMH Capital, citing shrinking margins in the company’s media nets segment, maintained its ‘sell’ rating on the shares.

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