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Viacom Changes Business Year

Viacom said Friday it would move its business year from a calendar-year close of Dec. 31 to Sept. 30, with the first new 12-month fiscal year being Oct. 1, 2010-Sept. 30, 2011.

The company said the move was to align its financial reporting more with the broadcast and cable years. For example, Nielsen's ratings year ends Sept. 20 this season.

The company will provide numbers comparable to its former quarters for comparison purposes during the transition.

The move allows Viacom to better plan the year by going into the new fiscal year with upfront ad commitments under its belt. It also turns a big quarter, the fourth--its movie and DVD business are back-end loaded--into the first, which makes it easier to budget and plan, and for shareholders to gauge how the company is doing, according to Viacom