August 9, 2018 / 11:38 AM / 8 days ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Viacom reports revenue below estimates on weak advertising sales

(Corrects affiliate revenue to $1.15 billion from $978 million in second paragraph)

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Viacom Inc reported quarterly revenue below Wall Street estimates on Thursday, as domestic advertising sales fell and the media company collected lower fees from cable TV operators and online distributors.

The company said worldwide affiliate revenue fell 3 percent to $1.15 billion, missing estimates of $1.16 billion, according to research and data analytics firm Factset.

Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, said domestic advertising revenue fell 3 percent to $922 million.

Since taking the helm in 2016, Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish has focused on a turnaround plan, which includes improving programming at its cable TV networks and improving relations with distributors.

Paramount Pictures, which returned to profitability in the second quarter, did well in the domestic market in the reported quarter thanks to the release of “A Quiet Place”, the first film under Paramount’s new management team, as well as “Book Club”.

Viacom and CBS, both controlled by Sumner and Shari Redstone’s family company, National Amusements Inc, are exploring a merger, but the efforts have been opposed by CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves.

Net income attributable to Viacom fell to $522 million, or $1.29 per share, in the third quarter ended June 30, from $683 million, or $1.70 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue fell to $3.24 billion from $3.36 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.18 per share.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.07 per share and revenue of $3.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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