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RealTime IT News

Yahoo Ad Network Lands Viacom Sites

While Viacom fights Google in court, it is making deals with one of the search company's rivals.

As of today, Yahoo is the new exclusive provider for sponsored search and contextual ads to all of Viacom's 33 broadband sites. Viacom said that Yahoo ads could potentially expand to more than 140 additional sites across the globe.

Panama, Yahoo's recently launched search marketing system, will power the ads, which will appear on such sites as MTV.com, VH1.com, Nickelodeon.com, Comedycentral.com and BET.com.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman noted in a statement the "impressive strides" Yahoo has made with Panama, signaling the studio's interest ad system.

But Yahoo spokeswoman Gaude Lydia Paez would not characterize the deal's development as having been contingent upon Panama's success.

She told internetnews.com Yahoo and Viacom have history and that this deal has been in the works since before Panama's February launch.

Watching popular Internet sites partner with Google, Yahoo or Microsoft to syndicate advertising networks has become a good way to gauge the ongoing competition between the companies.

Microsoft landed an exclusive deal with Facebook last year, and Google trumped everybody with a $900 million deal with News Corp. Panama was supposed to help Yahoo catch up.

But Panama or no Panama, it is unlikely Viacom would have struck a deal with Yahoo rival Google.

Not after Viacom sued Google for $1 billion last month, accusing the search engine giant of encouraging copyright infringement on its video-sharing property YouTube.