The agreement will raise the number of ViacomCBS channels available on Sky Italia platforms from 9 to 12, by adding Paramount Network, Spike and VH1 which previously just aired on terrestrial in the country. Local versions of MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Comedy Central and Italian kids’ channel Super! were already present on Sky.
More significantly ViacomCBS and Sky Media, which is Sky Italia’s advertising arm, also inked a new commercial pact under which ViacomCBS channels and digital advertising in Italy will be entirely sold by Sky Media starting from February 2.
Both agreements build on a long-standing rapport between ViacomCBS and Sky across Europe where Sky has been distributing and successfully selling advertising across ViacomCBS’ portfolio of U.K. channels, including British broadcaster Channel 5, for the past decade.
“Our new commercial agreement with Sky Media represents an opportunity to effectively support our business and brands over the next years in Italy, which remains one of the most important and valuable markets in which we operate,” Raffaele Annecchino (pictured) who is President of ViacomCBS Networks Southern and Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.
The strengthened tie between ViacomCBS Networks and Sky “will give even more investment opportunities to our customers and confirms SkyMedia’s role as a key player in the [Italian] market,” noted Giovanni Ciarlariello, Sky Italia’s Chief Media Digital and Data Officer.
Also on Wednesday, Comcast and ViacomCBS struck a new carriage pact in the U.S.
Sky, which is the largest pay-TV operator in Europe, besides its pact with ViacomCBS and other terrestrial broadcasters in Italy such as Mediaset, has a bundling deal with Netflix in Europe and recently re-upped its partnership with HBO that also gives Sky content from Warner Bros. and from Turner channels.
Sky Media currently handles advertising of A&E and Disney channels in Italy besides all Sky and Fox Networks Group brands.