CEO Philippe Dauman just disclosed his plan to add Spike to Viacom‘s overseas pay TV offerings, joining a portfolio that includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and the Paramount Channel. “We’re doing a little bit of proof of concept,” he said today at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. He’s optimistic because “we have been creating a lot of original programming on Spike itself,” and much of it — especially scripted shows — is “able to travel.” Overseas expansion is “a big, big opportunity” for Viacom and he sees distribution deals in countries including Brazil, Italy, and Russia helping to “fuel long-term growth” for the cable operation. In addition, “we look at India and think of our company a quarter century ago. It’s a great value creation opportunity.” Dauman also is taking a global view for Paramount. “Many of our franchises are built for international distribution which is growing,” he says, pointing to upcoming releases including Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and animation titles SpongeBob SquarePants, and Monster Trucks. Viacom looks for titles that will generate sales of licensed merchandise, which the CEO calls “a nice annuity that’s also global in scope.” He was also upbeat about Paramount’s restarted TV production business, where “we’ll be announcing a number of greenlit series over the next couple of months.”
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