Viacom’s third-quarter results beat Wall Street’s expectations on profit, despite continued declines in U.S advertising and revenue from distributors. The company, which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, said it expects a 1% increase in sales to distributors, which include cable and satellite companies, next quarter, which would be the first quarter to see a jump in affiliate sales in over a year.
And there are other signs of green shoots as Viacom looks for revenue opportunities despite the continued increase in cord cutting. While overall revenue was down 4% year over year to $3.24 billion, domestic ancillary revenue, which includes consumer products and live events, was up 31% at $93 million, and worldwide ancillary jumped 17% to $158 million.
While these numbers pale in comparison with the billions of dollars the company makes in advertising and affiliate revenue, it is evidence that Viacom isn’t just relying on viewers coming back to cable TV to revive its business.