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Viacom's Netflix deal highlights content strategy; earnings mixed

(Reuters) - Viacom Inc announced another film production deal with Netflix Inc through its Nickelodeon kids division, fleshing out a strategy to produce more shows and movies for others as streaming video giants battle for viewers. The announcement, made on a morning conference call with Wall Street analysts, underscored the significance of its multi-pronged strategy, as it delivered a quarter when ticket sales of "Transformers" reboot "Bumblebee" helped it beat profit estimates but revenue fell slightly short of expectations on weaker ad sales at its cable networks. As Netflix and other existing and upcoming streaming service providers from Walt Disney Co and AT&T Inc's WarnerMedia will shake up the traditional U.S. cable industry, Viacom and sister company CBS Corp are redoubling efforts to become original content resources for other distributors. Net income attributable to Viacom fell to $321 million, or 80 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Dec. 31 from $537 million, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier. That reflected lower advertising revenue and a hit from currency swings at a time when the company is fighting for its place in a hugely competitive and changing U.S. media landscape.

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