NEW YORK: Viacom Inc, responding to pressure to increase its takeover offer for Paramount Communications Inc, yesterday sweetened its bid by more than US$800 million, slightly edging out rival QVC Network Inc's bid. Viacom said the value of its new offer is $10.5 billion or about $87 a share. QVC's offer is worth about $10.3 billion or $85.25 a share. Under terms of its new offer, Viacom will pay $107 a share or about $6.5 billion in cash for 50.1 per cent of Paramount shares. That is $120 million or about $2 a share more than its previous offer and about $900 million or $15 a share more than QVC's cash bid for 51 per cent of Paramount stock. Viacom also bolstered the value of securities offered for the remaining 49.9 per cent of Paramount shares, guaranteeing a minimum value of $48 a share for its Class B shares and adding to its bid a three-year warrant to acquire 30.7 million Class B shares at $60 a share. In increasing its bid, Viacom extended its tender offer to January 31, the day before the deadline for final bidding for Paramount. Analysts and investors had anticipated Viacom would raise its offer, because the company risked being eliminated from the bidding competition by Friday if investors had tendered more than 51 per cent of their shares to QVC. Viacom, the owner of MTV and Nickelodeon Network, last week announced a surprise merger with Blockbuster Entertainment Corp, the nation's largest video retailer, a marriage which strengthened Viacom's financial ability to sweeten its offer for Paramount. Under terms of yesterday's offer, Viacom, for 49.9 per cent of Paramount shares, would still swap 0.93065 shares of its Class B shares and 0.30408 of a preferred issue of stock for each Paramount share. New in the offer for each Paramount share is 0.93065 of a contingent value right and a half-share of a three-year warrant to purchase additional Viacom Class B stock at $60.