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Viacom reduces losses on Rock Band

Quarterly financials show increase in revenues for Media Networks division

Harmonix' parent company Viacom has posted flat revenues in its quarterly financial report, recording a total of $3.3 billion (£2.07 billion) in the quarter ending June 30, 2010 – compared to $3.29 billion during the same period in 2009.

The Media Networks division, which contains all of Viacom's videogame enterprises, posted revenues of $2.09 billion (£1.3 bn) compared to its takings of $1.97 billion (£1.23 bn) for the second quarter of last year. This was partly attributed to lower losses from the Rock Band franchise.

Operating income for the whole business was up 28 per cent to $794 million, compared to $619 million in the second quarter of 2009.

"This growth was led by a $97 million, or 14 per cent, increase in Media Networks operating income, which was driven by higher affiliate and advertising revenues as well as lower losses from Rock Band," said the company.

The Rock Band franchise has proved to be a costly experience for Viacom and MTV Games, with sales at retail failing to meet expectations. This lead to MTV requesting a return of some of the pre-emptive bonus it paid to Harmonix at the start of their partnership.

The most recent full retail Rock Band titles, LEGO Rock Band and The Beatles Rock Band, failed to buck the trend, whilst add-on Green Day Rock Band sold only 82,000 in its first month in North America, despite MTV hoping it would be bigger than The Beatles game.

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Dan Pearson avatar

Dan Pearson