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Viacom completes acquisition of Channel 5 - Licensing.biz

Viacom completes acquisition of Channel 5

First joint commissions revealed across Nickelodeon, Milkshake and Channel 5.
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Viacom International Media Networks has completed its £450 million acquisition of Channel 5 Broadcasting from Northern & Shell Media Group.

The deal - originally announced on May 1st this year - received unconditional clearance from the European Commission.

To coincide with it taking ownership of the UK broadcaster, Viacom has also revealed the first joint commissions between Channel 5 and its UK pay TV channels.

Nickelodeon will join forces with C5's pre-school Milkshake strand to develop a new animated series, Nella the Knight. This is intended to be their first co-production under Viacom ownership. The series will be produced in the UK and co-funded by the two broadcasters - with them sharing broadcast rights as they already do with a variety of pre-school shows including Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Bubble Guppies.

Episodes of Spongebob Squarepants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will also begin airing on Channel 5.

In addition to this, Channel 5 and Viacom's MTV UK are jointly commissioning a new entertainment series, 10,000 BC, in which 20 volunteers will forgo the comforts and conveniences of modern life to go back to the Stone Age.

Viacom has confirmed that Channel 5's advertising sales team will be retained following the closure of the deal and will continue to sell the network's airtime.

"Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom's investment in British creativity and content," explained Philippe Dauman, Viacom president and CEO. "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 Chanel 5 will also benefit our existing UK pay television channel portfolio, as demonstrated by the announcement of our first two original programming commissions."

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