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Dauman Hopeful Multiscreen Ratings Coming Next Year

Online Viewing by Young Consumers Not Officially Measured Yet 12/03/2012 4:32 PM Eastern

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said his company is working with Nielsen and others to provide measurement of viewers consuming programming on platforms other than the television set.

Dauman, speaking at the 40th annual UBS Media and Communications conference in New York Monday, said that with its young viewers, Viacom stands to cash in if viewing online and on mobile devices gets counted.

"We are going to benefit enormously in particular from measurement of viewing on other devices because our audiences are the ones who are spending incremental time...on other platforms," he said. "That's not officially monetized right now because it's not officially measured."

Dauman said Viacom has been working with research companies on systems to measure multiplatform viewing. "I'm more encouraged that I've been that we're going to get there. Whether it's Nielsen or somebody else, they have to catch up with the reality of how people are enjoying entertainment," he said. "We've already entertain a lot of discussions with advertisers about how to capture the entire viewing of our brands and our shows. So we expect we'll start seeing some movement as we get into this coming year."

Dauman also said that Viacom continues to invest in content. Spending on programming is usually up by mid-single digits but will be up by high single digits this year as Viacom tries to turn around some of its networks.

Dauman said the company's investments in programming are already paying off in improved ratings at Nickelodeon as well as at MTV, two channels that have been struggling. "You've been seeing the turning point for Nickelodeon," he said. At the same time MTV has a new hit in Catfish and that newly appointed MTV Entertainment president Susanne Daniels will ensure that the progress is not disruptive.

"She will oversee what is already a vibrant pipeline of both scripted and reality programming," he said.

Internationally, Dauman said that Viacom is looking to expand its overseas footprint by rolling out the Paramount Network, which also appeals to a more adult viewer than MTV or Nickelodeon.

March