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Rock Band Helps Push Viacom Q1 Profits Up 33%

MTV and Nickelodeon parent company Viacom has reported profits up 33 percent to $270 million in its first quarter, partially on the success of Harmonix's Rock Band - which shipped three million bundled units and has sold ten million song downloads
MTV and Nickelodeon parent company Viacom has reported profits up 33 percent to $270 million in its first quarter, partially on the success of Harmonix's Rock Band, with its Media Networks division revenues rising 16 percent to $2.02 billion. Overall, Viacom revenue rose 15 percent to $3.12 billion in the first quarter. As reported in March, the success of Rock Band saw as much as $208.7 million in performance bonuses being set aside for the developer, with further payouts due in 2009 for its sales over the coming year. According to conference call comments from Viacom Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman, as reported by Bloomberg, the Rock Band series has shipped three million bundled units and has sold ten million song downloads since its November 2007 launch. The game first appeared on the NPD's charts for January. NPD said at the time that the Xbox 360 version "was the top-selling game in dollar terms, bringing in $30 million in sales for the month." The game again charted in February, but failed to appear in March. Said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman of the game's performance, "Our Rock Band video game is continuing its successful tour and is emerging as a valuable long-term franchise. We expect to further that success with the upcoming release of Rock Band on the Wii home video game system and our launch in Europe."

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