How Viacom Will Benefit From Its Deal With Tyler Perry

by Trefis Team
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Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) recently announced a long-term content and partnership deal with Tyler Perry (director, playwright and actor) under which Mr. Perry will produce 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET and other Viacom networks. Viacom will also have exclusive distribution rights to Mr. Perry’s short form video content. Further, Paramount Pictures is being granted “first look” rights on any new feature film concepts created by Mr. Perry. The TV deal would start in 2019 when Perry’s contract with Oprah Winfrey Network ends, and will run through 2024. This deal should help Viacom boost its content slate and ratings. High quality content is a key driving factor to attract audiences, and given Tyler Perry’s popularity, this deal should drive growth for Viacom in the coming years.

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Viacom’s new strategic plan is aimed at working with established talent to deliver high quality content across its properties. The company is looking to make BET a leader in programming, and this partnership can help bolster the network’s position. While BET is not currently a major contributor to Viacom’s revenues, it is an important part of Viacom’s growth strategy.  The company recently announced a new executive leadership team for BET aimed towards delivering a stronger financial performance for the network.  BET is one of Viacom’s six core cable brands, which also include Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, MTV, Comedy Central and Spike. The company is likely to spend significant resources on these properties in the coming years to drive growth.

Tyler Perry’s shows on OWN Network (with which he currently has a deal) have consistently been strong draws, attracting millions of viewers to the network. Viacom is banking on this audience following Mr. Perry and his content to its own media properties. If that occurs, the deal should help BET boost its ratings and ad revenues in the coming years.

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