Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was light on details at a recent industry conference concerning his just-announced over-the-top content deal with Sony, but said the electronics giant has similar pacts at the ready.
Dauman, who last year predicted that an virtual multichannel video programming distributors would be announced sometime in 2014, declined to comment when pressed for details at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference Wednesday, adding only that the Sony pact “gives consumers more of what they want.”
Dauman said he would leave details regarding launch dates, additional partners and pricing to Sony, adding he expected the consumer electronics giant to launch the product with great fanfare, a marketing push that the hoped Viacom would benefit from as well.
But the fact that Sony picked Viacom as its first content partner – the service agreed to carry all 22 of Viacom networks, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and Spike TV – was a testament to the programmer’s position in the young adult market.
Dauman said Viacom began addressing its need for scale in the late 1980s and early 1990s and has grown to a No. 1 position in practically every age demographic. For that reason, he said that the need to acquire more scale – which has dogged the market ever since 21st Century Fox’s attempt to acquire Time Warner – isn’t as pressing for his networks.
“Almost every demo you look at, that includes the younger demos, we have the No. 1 position in ad supported cable,” Dauman said. “…If Fox and Time Warner were to get together, we’d still be No 1 compared to them in all these demos.”
Sony’s over the top service is one of at least three that are in the works from major distributors – Dish Network signed the Walt Disney Co.’s cable and broadcast networks up for its planned service and Verizon Communications, which bought Intel Media’s OnCue service earlier this year, is also expected to launch its own OTT product.