MTV Brazil Heads to Viacom Intl.

Move fueled by huge pay TV growth; October relaunch includes new programs, 'Snooki' in Portuguese

With a 168% growth in Brazil’s pay TV market over the past five years, Viacom Intl. Media Networks (VIMN) has taken control of MTV Brazil, which will launch across key cable operators on Oct. 1.

VIMN has dissolved its licensing pact with local media conglom Grupo Abril, which owned and controlled the network since 1990. Under Grupo Abril, MTV Brazil was among four MTV versions available in free-to-air terrestrial television worldwide, but its ratings had been declining.

Sofia Ioannou, managing director of VIMN – The Americas, said, “The key differentiator of the new MTV is our ‘glocal’ strategy,” i.e., the combination of global and local content. The new MTV Brazil will feature more than 350 hours of millennial-targeted local productions and MTV’s global programming hits, dubbed into Portuguese for the first time.

VIMN has a strong presence in Brazil, where its popular channels Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central are available in 84% of pay TV households, in addition to its many digital media offerings.

“Part of the strategy is for our (MTV) content to cross borders,” said Ioannou. “We’re confident our local productions could drive value in markets like Portugal and Spain.”

New programming grid will be broken down into 40% original local productions, 50% MTV global hits and 10% music.

Original shows in development or production include a daily talkshow, a sitcom, a celeb reality series, and extreme-sports-inspired series. These will be supplemented by local versions of Viacom formats, including “Catfish,” Guy Code” and “Pranked.”

For the first time, “Jersey Shore” spinoff, “Snooki & JWOWW,” will be dubbed in Portuguese. “Jersey Shore” was one of the top five shows on MTV Brazil under Grupo Abril.

Music programming will include such formats as “Worldstage,” a live event music series featuring multi-genre talents from around the globe.

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