Viacom Closes Purchase Of Channel 5 In England

Viacom said it completed its $724 million acquisition of Channel 5 in the U.K. and that the channel has begun jointly developing programming with Viacom’s Nickelodeon and MTV units.

"Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom's investment in British creativity and content,” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement. “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.”

Channel 5 is working with Nickelodeon on a new animated series Nella the Knight for Channel 5’s pre-school block Milkshake. The series is expected to be a co-production in the U.K. and Channel 5 and Nick will share broadcast rights. They already share rights to shows like Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Bubble Guppies. Channel 5 will also start airing episodes of Nick shows SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

MTV and Channel 5 are jointly commissioning a new series 10,000 B.C., a reality show in which 20 volunteers live in stone-age conditions.

Viacom also said that Channel 5’s ad sales team will be retained and continue to sell the network’s ad time.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.