Viacom CEO touts 'strong' upfront hand

Dauman talks day-and-date tests, windowing strategy

NEW YORK -- The broadcast TV advertising upfront market is starting to break and ad trends look "pretty good," Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said Wednesday.

"We're following with interest the progress in the broadcast upfront," he told a Sanford C. Bernstein investor conference in a session that was available via webcast. 
"We are optimistic...and we also think the scatter market will continue to show strength."

He also said: "We do have a strong hand." Dauman cited rising ratings at Viacom's cable networks, such as MTV and BET, an improving economy and Hollywood studios' tentpole movie strategy that requires ad spend.

Dauman also told the conference that "the windowing concept that has worked so well for us for a long time also works" in the digital world.

He once again expressed strong support for the idea that owning a movie studio has value.
"If properly managed, it can work well," Dauman said. 

He also said that Paramount is or will test three DVD titles in a day-and-date VOD trial -- "Shutter Island," "She's Out of My League" and "The Lovely Bones."