Viacom‘s (NASDAQ:VIA.B) big fish … er … sponge is floundering.
SpongeBob SquarePants has been the darling of Viacom’s Nickelodeon for the past 13 years, but young viewers seem to be losing interest in the friendly sea creature, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Ratings for SpongeBob have dropped nearly 30% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to viewership a year ago. The drop could be bad news for Viacom because Nickelodeon accounts for an estimated 15% of the company’s profits.
So far, the impact seems minimal. In earnings results Thursday, Viacom reported profits of $585 million ($1.07 per share), about a 56% better than last year’s results of $376 million (63 cents per share).