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Viacom Inc. Plans Television Viewing Apps by End of Year

Viacom Inc., the television programmer that owns cable networks Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, plans to unveil television viewing apps for tablets before the end of the year.

“We are rolling out apps in partnership with several of our distributors,” Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman told analysts on Viacom’s quarterly earnings call today.

Viacom is working with pay-TV operators like Time Warner Cable Inc. on tablet apps that will feature its library of television programming. The company declined to specify which channels would be available.

This would be Viacom’s first major step into a so-called TV Everywhere approach, which lets viewers watch programming they already pay for on multiple devices, such as Apple Inc.’s iPad. Time Warner Inc. was one of the first television programmers to embrace this strategy, most notably with its HBO Go app. Viacom already has distribution agreements with online streaming providers such as Netflix Inc.

While online viewing hasn’t hurt Viacom’s television ratings, more people are watching on digital devices today, Dauman said.

“We clearly have to be where consumers are, and we’re very anxious to deliver content to our audiences wherever they are,” he said.

Profit at Viacom, based in New York, missed analysts’ estimates for the period that ended in June after advertising sales dropped 9 percent, the most in more than three years. Net income decreased 7 percent to $534 million, or $1.01 a share, from $574 million, or 97 cents, a year earlier.

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