/// Earnings and Ratings Down, Viacom Declares Victory in DirecTV Spat
Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone began Friday's Viacom earnings call by praising company CEO Philippe Dauman for his role in the carriage dispute with DirecTV last month. “Philippe has been a great warrior,” Redstone enthused. “The battle he conducted against DirecTV was spectacular. He has the same passion to win that I've always had and in the long run, he will win.” For his part, Dauman tried to debunk the popular notion that the fight had ended in DirecTV's favor . “The deal that Viacom ultimately signed was materially better than the deal that was on the table when DirecTV made the unfortunate decision to end the negotiations,” Dauman said. The odd-sounding retroactive declaration of victory was one of the few congratulatory moments during the call; earnings for the quarter fell 7 percent (more than expected) and revenues were off by 14 percent. Executives admitted that the trouble was largely a function of lower ad revenues, as well as fewer movies with grosses as high as last year's Transformers: Dark of the Moon
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