VIACOM’S third-quarter profit fell short of analysts’ estimates after film revenue dropped, the owner of Comedy Central and the Paramount Pictures film studio said yesterday. Earnings of $1.42 (R15.17) a share, excluding some items, in the period to June were lower than the $1.43 average of 30 analysts’ predictions. Revenue dropped 7.4 percent to $3.42 billion. Analysts had anticipated $3.55bn, on average. The company, controlled by chairman Sumner Redstone, faced tough comparisons in its cable television networks from a year ago, when US advertising sales were accelerating and fees from pay-TV systems rose more than 25 percent in the US and internationally. Viacom’s stock has retreated 6.4 percent this year. – Bloomberg