Viacom will roll out movie web in other markets

MADRID — Viacom Intl. Media Networks has chosen Spain as the first country to launch Paramount Channel, a free-to-air TV service dedicated to movies.

It will bow in April, the fruit of a pact Viacom made with Spanish media conglom Vocento in January.

Viacom will roll out Paramount Channel across other markets, the company said Thursday.

The 24-hour, ad-supported channel will feature pics from Paramount Pictures’ vast catalogue and Spanish indie distributor Tripictures, part of Vocento-controlled production-distribution holding Veralia.

Programming will also include documentaries and behind-the-scenes features.

In Spain, the new channel replaces Vocento’s family-oriented TV service La 10, which closed Jan. 1.

Paramount Channel will face-off with La Sexta 3, a niche web which averages a 1.4% audience share since it launched February 2011, consolidating as a significant outlet for movies in Spain’s free-to-air TV market.

Viacom’s close relationship with Vocento kicked-off in 2009, when Vocento inked to air Viacom library films on its regional TV channels.

Last year, Viacom’s MTV bowed in Spain’s free-to-air market using one of Vocento’s four nationwide TV licenses, which it controls via holding Net TV.

Disney Channel has operated another of Net TV’s services since 2008.

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