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Decline in Rock Band sales hits Viacom

Media Networks division sees slump due to "soft retail environment" for games

Viacom, parent of MTV Games and developer Harmonix, has blamed a decline in revenues within its Media Networks division on poor sales of Rock Band.

Overall quarterly revenues for the company were down 14 per cent to USD 3.3 billion for the period ended June 30,with profit dropping to USD 586 million, or 26 per cent.

"Media Networks revenues decreased 8 per cent to USD 1.97 billion, principally due to a 41 per cent decline in ancillary revenues driven by lower sales of the music videogame Rock Band," detailed the company.

"Media Networks operating income declined 12 per cent to USD 671 million, reflecting lower advertising revenues, losses associated with Rock Band due to the soft retail environment and USD 16 million in severance charges."

However, chief executive Sumner Redstone remained upbeat about the company going forward, stating: "As the leading pure-play content company, Viacom has the right portfolio of assets and the right vision to manage through this challenging climate while we continue to position ourselves for future growth."

The company's big release this year is The Beatles: Rock Band, due on September 9, in three different SKUs priced between USD 59 and USD 249.

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