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.
Data provided by:Nielsen Media Research (Preliminary Results)