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MTV Soars; CBS Slides

As Viacom moves toward splitting the company in half, the differences in the growth prospects of the two parts are stark.

Viacom’s cable nets posted another strong second quarter Thursday, while the company’s broadcast TV unit was sinking.

Revenues at MTV Networks and BET increased 14% to $2 billion over the same quarter in 2004, driven by 19% growth in ad sales and a 9% rise in license fees.

Operating income rose 14% fo $711 million.

At the broadcast, division revenues dipped only 1% to $2 billion, but operating income was down 16% to $439 million.

CBS and UPN networks were relatively strong, with ad revenues up a moderate 7%.

The bigger problems were at the stations and the TV production units.

Revenues at the CBS and UPN O&O stations dropped 4%. Revenues from the licensing of programming dropped 29%, principally due to the absence of revenues from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine--that were present in 2Q 2004--that were not matched by the license revenues from the syndication of Everybody Loves Raymond to cable in 2Q 2005.Companywide revenues increase 10% to $5.9 billion, while operating income rose 4% to $1.4 billion.Viacom also announced on the call that Les Moonves will become CEO of CBS and Tom Freston will be CEO of the new Viacom after the split.