Hours before releasing its latest quarterly earnings, Viacom (NYSE:VIA) announced that it was acquiring Atom Entertainment in a $200 million deal. It's the latest website acquisition by a really hungry Viacom, which has gobbled down Xfire, iFilm, and NeoPets in just the past year.

Atom plays right into the theme of Viacom's recent nibbles. Atom's Shockwave.com is a popular site providing online games that will fit in well with the crowd that is now turning to Viacom for the Xfire online gaming software and the virtual adoption of NeoPets. Atom's AtomFilms.com is a "clip culture" pioneer that will enhance the iFilm purchase and feed Viacom's viral video show on VH1.

Viacom's purchases have been strategic -- and thrifty. Atom will be the costliest prize in its dot-com trophy case. One can argue that this is no time to get cheap, given News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) success in snapping up more expensive properties like IGN and MySpace. That's not the point, though. If the media networks wind up tripping over themselves in order to nab YouTube at some outlandish price, the winner may wind up being the loser.

Viacom's online portfolio is sound. It also has a good partner in Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which will come in handy as Viacom monetizes its acquisitions. With the young audience that Viacom commands through its music channels, and the even younger audience it attracts through Nickelodeon, suddenly Viacom has a tempting assortment of the virtual candy that will help its offline and online worlds come together in perfect harmony.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't know if he still wants his MTV, but he knows that Viacom's shareholders wouldn't mind money for nothing. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.