Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday they signed a deal worth at least $500 million to work together on advertising and promotion for TV shows and video games.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the companies said the deal has a projected base value of $500 million for the first five years. The agreement includes revenue sharing, guarantees and content licensing deals, with the ability to possibly expand the transactions in the future.
(MSNBC.com is Microsoft-NBC Universal joint venture.)
The deal gives Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, the ability to license some of Viacom's television and movie content on a non-exclusive basis for use on MSN and its Xbox 360 gaming system. The company founded by Bill Gates will also purchase advertising from Viacom's broadcast and online networks and will partner on promotions and sponsorships for MTV Networks and BET Networks award shows.
Viacom will use the agreement to look for ways to become a preferred publishing partner on Microsoft's gaming platforms.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft will have exclusive rights to sell some display ads on Viacom's U.S. Web sites, while its Atlas unit will function as ad server for the sites.
Besides Paramount and Comedy Central, Viacom owns cable channels including MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon.