Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Defends Cable Bundle

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Philippe Dauman

While praising the potential of new media, streaming short-form content and the like, he stressed that good old-fashioned television is still where it's at.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman defended the cable bundle and linear TV in general on Monday while also hinting at something special planned for Jon Stewart's departure from Comedy Central later this year, though he wasn't specific.

"Jon Stewart's coming off in about three months and we're gonna ride those three months, especially the last month," Dauman said at the 43rd Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston.

While praising the potential of new media, streaming short-form content and the like, he stressed that good old-fashioned television is still where it's at.

"We get more 2-11 viewing on Saturday morning on Nickelodeon than a month 2-11 on YouTube," he said. "People forget the power of linear television and huge reach that you get."

Of cable bundles, which some are trying to shrink and others are challenging outright with subscription video on demand, he said: "The best offering for consumers is to have the large offering — the variety of networks," he said.

He noted, though, that Viacom is supportive of streamers, including those who have yet to launch a service, since they are purchasers of Viacom's programming.

"Having new distribution come in has always benefited content owners," he said. "We are in conversations with everyone who has announced or is looking at the possibility of announcing."

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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