Viacom Taps Yahoo! To Provide Online Ads

Exterior view of Yahoo Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.
Paul Sakuma
Exterior view of Yahoo Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.

Media conglomerate Viacom said on Tuesday it chose Yahoo! to provide search and contextual advertising for 33 of its Internet sites in a major boost to Yahoo's new Web ad system.

The system, dubbed Project Panama, was launched in early February and is seen as a key test of Yahoo's ability to offer advertisers a competing technology to Web search leader Google .

Viacom said the multiyear advertising partnership with Yahoo covers broadband sites for its MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon networks and could expand to more than 140 additional sites worldwide.

Through its new system, Yahoo will provide search tools and serve up contextual advertising, which utilizes data on what a user is looking at online.

Yahoo spokeswoman Gaude Lydia Paez declined to comment on financial terms of the deal with Viacom.

"It is our typical revenue-sharing deal we use with most of our partners," Paez said. "It is exclusive, and it is multiyear."

Viacom last month sued Google and its video-sharing site YouTube for $1 billion for failing to protect its copyrighted entertainment from being placed online without authorization.