Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) on Wednesday confirmed it has completed its £450m takeover of UK broadcaster Channel 5 – after several months of waiting for clearance from the European Commission.
As a result of the merger, the American media giant will now have a firm foothold in the UK market to air its content. Additionally, VIMN also announced a series of joint commissions between Channel 5 and UK pay TV channels.
On the children’s TV front, Nickelodeon will be joining forces with Channel 5’s pre-school slot Milkshake to develop an exclusive animated series called ‘Nella the Knight’ which will be funded and broadcast by both channels across the Atlantic.
The kids channels will also continue to pool programmes Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Bubble Guppies with SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also to join the UK channel’s roster.
Furthermore, Channel 5 and MTV UK will collaborate on a new reality survival series called 10,000 BC which will see regular individuals forego the luxuries of modern day life. Ten hour-long episodes have been commission for 2015.
Philippe Dauman, Viacom President and CEO, said: “Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom’s investment in British creativity and content. We are committed to strengthening Channel 5’s status as one of UK broadcasting’s premier brands, and we will continue to grow the network’s pipeline of original programming with more quality commissions, as well as acquisitions.
“The addition of Channel 5 will also benefit our existing UK pay television channel portfolio, as demonstrated by the announcement of our first two original programming commissions.”
Dauman added: “We are excited about our stewardship of Channel 5 and we look forward to delivering added value for our shareholders, partners and, above all, our audiences.”
David Lynn, EVP, managing director of VIMN UK, said: “Channel 5’s senior executive and sales teams continue to perform strongly and, with an innovative approach to commercial partnerships, have delivered great results. We look forward to working with the senior team and in-house sales staff to build on this success.”
VIMN owns many of the world’s most popular multimedia brands including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel and VH1.
This comes after Viacom earlier this week confirmed it will keep Channel 5’s advertising sales in-house – disappointing BSkyB which previously hoped to acquire the account as it already holds the US firm’s advertising for MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon