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Viacom-owned Web sites for such TV networks as MTV and Nickelodeon attracted a surge in viewers and helped lead a 16% jump in overall online-video viewing over the past couple of months, according to a report released late last week. While the Web attracted a record number of video viewers, the number of Hulu videos viewed online fell in recent months.

Viewers watched about 774 million videos on Viacom's sites in June, more than double the 315 million videos viewed on Viacom in April, ComScore said in a statement. Viacom, which jumped to No. 2 among U.S. online video sites from No. 5 in April, accounted for 4% of the online videos watched in June, up from 1.9% in April.

Although Viacom's second-quarter operating profit from its media networks division fell 12% from a year earlier, the unit outperformed Viacom's Paramount filmed-entertainment division. The company, whose networks also include Comedy Central, Spike TV and BET, attracted more than 40 million unique viewers to its Web sites in June, up from about 35 million in April.

Meanwhile, Hulu, the long-form online video site launched by NBC Universal and News Corp. last year, lost audience share as it was overtaken by Viacom and Time Warner's Turner Network sites, ComScore said. Videos watched on Google sites, which include leading online-video site YouTube, rose 12% to 7.63 billion in June from 6.83 billion in April, when YouTube said it would start offering free full-length movies and TV shows on its site after it reached deals with content providers such as Sony, Lionsgate and Starz. YouTube continued to account for about 40% of all online videos watched.

Overall, a record 157 million Americans watched 19.5 billion online videos in June, up from the 16.8 billion watched in April. The average viewer watched 124 online videos in June, up from 111 million in April, ComScore said.
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