Viacom shares tumble 10 percent on affiliate sale woes

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of Viacom Inc (VIAB.O) fell 10 percent on Friday, a day after the owner of MTV and Comedy Central forecast lower sales to U.S. pay-TV companies and streaming video services this quarter.

In early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Viacom shares were down $3.72 at $31.35.

For the latest quarter, Viacom said U.S. sales to pay-TV affiliates and online video firms such as Netflix Inc NFLX.O, which pay to screen its shows, rose 4 percent in its fiscal third quarter to $1.01 billion, largely due to the timing of some deals with streaming video services.

But for the current quarter, the company forecast a low single-digit dip in sales to U.S. pay-TV providers.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank, which rates Viacom a “sell,” said it sees Viacom’s future negotiations with distributors as “challenging.”

Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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