×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Viacom Wraps Purchase of U.K.’s Channel 5, Commissions Joint Projects

'SpongeBob SquarePants,' 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' to air on Channel 5

LONDON — Viacom Intl. Media Networks has wrapped its £450 million ($726 million) acquisition of U.K. free-to-air network Channel 5. Viacom also unveiled the first joint commissions between Channel 5 and Viacom’s U.K. pay TV channels.

The deal with Channel 5’s previous owners Northern & Shell Media Group, which was announced in May, was closed after receiving unconditional clearance from the European Commission.

Philippe Dauman, Viacom president and CEO, said: “Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom’s investment in British creativity and content. We are committed to strengthening Channel 5’s status as one of U.K. 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.”

Dauman added that the addition of Channel 5 will also benefit Viacom’s U.K. pay TV channel portfolio, as demonstrated by the announcement of its first two original programming commissions.

Viacom’s Nickelodeon is joining forces with Channel 5’s pre-school strand, Milkshake, to develop a new animated series, “Nella the Knight,” intended to be their first co-production under Viacom ownership.

The series will be produced in the U.K. and co-funded by the two broadcasters, who will share broadcast rights, as they already do with a variety of other pre-school programs, including “Peppa Pig,” “Ben and 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, Channel 5 and Viacom’s MTV U.K. 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. A 10-episode hour-long series is being produced by The Garden and GroupM Entertainment to premiere on Channel 5 in 2015 with a five-episode hour-long spin-off show airing on MTV U.K.

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

Channel 5’s commercial director of sales, Nick Bampton, and its chief operating officer, Paul Dunthorne, will report separately to David Lynn, exec VP, managing director of VIMN U.K., and join his U.K. senior management team, along with Channel 5’s program director, Ben Frow.

Lynn said: “Channel 5’s senior executive and sales teams continue to perform strongly, and, with an innovative approach to commercial partnerships, have delivered great results.”

More TV

  • ViacomCBS

    ViacomCBS Exec Shuffle Signals Move Toward $500 Million in Synergy Goals

    The latest cluster of high-level ViacomCBS executive announcements — which included CBS chief creative officer David Nevins and MTV/VH1 chief Chris McCarthy expanding their oversight, and Comedy Central head Kent Alterman exiting — likely constitutes the last round of public leadership shuffling ahead of the close of the Viacom-CBS transaction in early December, according to [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets 'You' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announces the second season premiere date for “You,” and Quibi has named six more cast members joining its upcoming series “The Now.”  CASTING Samantha Richelle, Arthur Acuña (“Princess and I”), Nonie Buencamino (“Sparks”) and Ces Quesada (“Invisible”) have been cast in WGN’s upcoming drama “Almost Paradise.” The four members join previously announced lead cast [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Continues to Slam Agencies Over Affiliate Ownership

    With the Writers Guild of America’s stalemate with talent agencies in its seventh month, the guild has doubled down on the issue of ownership of production. In a message to titled “The Truth About Agency Studios” sent to members Monday, the WGA’s negotiating committee blasted the leading agencies CAA, UTA and WME for owning the [...]

  • STUMPTOWN - "Forget it Dex, It's

    ABC to Stop Using Live+Same Day Ratings

    ABC is set to become the second of the major networks to no longer use Live+Same Day figures to measure the performance of its shows (with the exception of live programming), according to an internal memo sent out by ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke. The move comes four years after Fox chose to do the [...]

  • HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE

    'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Cast Talks New Music (Watch)

    Disney has debuted a preview clip of the upcoming “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” in which the cast discusses how the music of the original movies and 2019’s tunes combine to tell a new tale. Indeed, it’s the start of something new: instead of cheering on Troy Bolton and Gabriella, a next generation [...]

  • Facebook Stock

    PBS' 'Nightly Business Report' to Cease Production by Year End

    “Nightly Business Report,” the PBS program that started in 1979 and became TV’s longest-running business-news broadcast, is set to cease production by the end of the year. CNBC, which picked up production of the show in 2013, has decided to end its association with the show, according to people familiar with the matter. “NBR,” originally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content