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Viacom Toughs Out Q3

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NEW YORK A month after dialing back its outlook for the remainder of 2008, Viacom on Monday announced that third-quarter profit fell 37 percent versus the year-ago period, as a ratings slump at flagship MTV compounded the effects of a softening ad sales market.

Net income for the quarter plunged to $401 million, or 65 cents a share, from $641 million, or 96 cents, in the third quarter of 2007. Domestic ad sales fell 3 percent as MTVN saw pullback in categories such as automotive, beverages and videogames, while global ad sales fell 2 percent to $1.16 billion.

Affiliate fees, which account for approximately 30 percent of MTVN