Viacom and Murdoch-Owned Sky Strengthen Ties In Italy

Sky buys Viacom's terrestrial MTV Italia channel and adds two Viacom channels to Italian paybox

ROME – Viacom International and Murdoch-owned paybox Sky Italy have strengthened their Italo ties, adding two new branded channels, Teen Nick and MTV Next, following a key free-to-air deal.

The Viacom pay-TV content boost on Sky follows Sky Italy’s purchase from Viacom of free-to-air channel MTV Italia, officialized on August 1.

Unlike the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe, MTV airs on both pay and free TV in Italy. Viacom remains the owner of Comedy Central Italia, Nickelodeon Italia, and Nick Jr. Italia.

While Sky Italia’s core business is pay TV, they also own and operate a local generalist free-TV channel, called Cielo, a news channel, and now, MTV Italia.

The strategic Viacom/Sky partnership will also aim to boost their joint on-demand offer with the expected launch in 2016 of Nickelodeon and MTV branded apps in Italy, featuring branded content, games and interactions with cast and characters of their shows.

By the end of 2015 a selection of Viacom content will also be available on Sky On Demand and a number of its channels are expected to be launched on Sky Go in Italy. The idea is to maximize Viacom’s target millennial audience in Italy.

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