Viacom reported its Q2 2017 earnings this morning behind strong performances across our portfolio. Click through the slideshow below to see what drove our business this quarter, and to get a preview of what we’re excited about coming up. Click over to Viacom Investor Relations for more details about this quarter’s earnings.
Lip Sync Battle
The Paramount Network will launch in the first quarter of 2018, adding a premium entertainment channel to Viacom’s portfolio and executing a core component of the company’s strategic shift under new CEO Bob Bakish. The new net will carry the very best of Spike TV – which Paramount Network will replace – along with high-quality scripted series that will appeal to a broad and diverse audience.
“Our mission is to establish Paramount Network as a prime destination for premium storytelling,” said Kevin Kay, president of Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT. “From Alicia Silverstone as a trailblazing independent working mother in the 1970s to Michael Shannon as an FBI negotiator during the Branch Davidians dramatic standoff and siege, Paramount Network will be the home to compelling stories, unforgettable characters, and high quality production with a distinctive global appeal.”
We have three-quarters of a year until the new property drops onto the airwaves, and a lot more details will emerge between now and then, but here are three things we know right now about Paramount Network:
1) Paramount Network will be a destination for premium storytelling
The Paramount Network’s launch date announcement itemized an impressive roster of scripted series that will roll out in the channel’s first quarter.
Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari will star in American Woman, a 1970s drama about family and independence in a feminism-infused landscape. Heathers creates comedy anthology out of the 1988 film of the same name. Waco will transport us back to the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound with an entirely fresh perspective. And I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. is the latest in the acclaimed “I Am” documentary series from filmmaker Derik Murray.
While the already-announced slate is impressive, the possibilities for future franchises are enormous, particularly given the net’s relationship with Paramount Pictures. “Paramount Network is going to support and develop with Paramount,” Kay told The Hollywood Reporter (THR) in a wide-ranging interview. “Whether we make prequels or sequels to franchises that are Paramount movies or we develop our own stuff that becomes Paramount features, the same thing goes for Comedy Central and MTV — they’re in the movie business with Paramount.”
Kay hopes to establish a pipeline that supports eight premium scripted shows in any given year. “That’s a big number in this world we live in today and Viacom seems very willing to support that and help us build to that,” he said.
2) Your favorite Spike stuff isn’t going anywhere
Spike has become a destination for premium unscripted programming, with the full-throttle feel-good Lip Sync Battle joining longstanding network staples Bar Rescue and Ink Master, and all three will migrate to Paramount Network.
Spike, with its deep HD penetration and web of global outposts, was the ideal Viacom property to evolve into the Paramount Network. And, as Kay told THR, while Spike tended to still be viewed as a men’s channel, the iconic Paramount brand carried enormous gravity among fans.
“There is nothing negative in the consumer’s mind about the Paramount name,” Kay told THR. “Older people know The Godfather; some remember the Sherry Lansing years. Younger people know Transformers and Mission Impossible. Those are the franchises they identify with the Paramount name. I think it has a tremendous amount of value and sets a really high bar about premium in the consumer’s mind and it’s up to us not to screw that up.”
Spike TV’s international expansion continues as it sets up in yet another international market – this time in Australia, where a partnership with Fetch TV has just dropped the net’s addicting mix of franchises, unscripted shows and original content into their Entertainment Pack, a set of premium channels available to its subscribers.
Spike Australia will of course deliver the U.S. and U.K. versions of smash global hit Lip Sync Battle, but will also deliver mixed martial arts organization Bellator MMA, alongside British documentary series Police Interceptors and Spike originals Coaching Bad, Sweat Inc., Life or Debt and Framework.
Comedy Central has become a perennial Emmy standout – last year, the network notched 26 nominations and eight wins for its irreverent work. Nickelodeon, Spike, Logo, MTV, TV Land and BET also earned nominations.
In addition to the recognition of outstanding work from wholly owned Viacom programming, our Paramount TV division earned 14 nominations, 11 for its collaborations with FOX, most notably the spectacular Grease Live special, which drew 10 nominations after totaling more than 12 million viewers during its February airing.
The full list of Viacom nominations is below, along with a look at a few of the properties up for the honors. Some of the clips contain graphic or adult language.
They are NBA superstars and pajama-clad preschoolers, Grammy Award winners and Viacom employees, Country music singers and MTV Wolf Pack girls making videos on their bedroom floor.
As different as this group of celebrities and everyday folks may be in their day-to-day lives, they share one common attribute: they are enormous fans of our brands.
Q1 2016 earnings are in, and there’s a lot of great things happening throughout Viacom. The slides underscore just how well Viacom properties are doing in various segments. Check out more highlights below.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on your nails. An epic Lip Sync Battle blowing up your feed. Every minute, our fans take what our brands produce and make it part of their lives in extraordinary ways.
To illustrate our unparalleled cultural impact, Viacom is launching a proud new campaign: MADE HERE. LIVES EVERYWHERE.
Viewers watching the debut of Lip Sync Battle on Spike TV saw actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson bust some ferocious dance moves while perfectly lip-synching Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Lip Sync Battle was the most watched premiere in network history, with over 3 million viewers. The show also scored big on social media. #LipSyncBattle was trending in the United States and worldwide during both the East and West Coast airings, and has generated more than 15 million video views on YouTube and Facebook.
Lip Sync Battle airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Spike TV.