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Viacom has pledged to significantly increase Channel 5’s £200 million (€235m) annual programming budget, with more original shows, and not to convert any channels to pay-TV.
Philippe Dauman, the chief executive of Viacom, said programming was the “lifeblood” of its business and to expect significant increases in budget.
“We are a pureplay content company around the world, this is our lifeblood,” he told the Guardian. “We spend $3 billion on programming [and] it is increasing year after year in mid to high single digits percentages. Content has never been more valuable.”
Channel 5 has six channels – the flagship Channel 5, 5* and 5 USA, and a +1, one-hour time-shifted variant for each – but Dauman said categorically that there is no intention to look to convert some to pay-TV channels.
“We believe Channel 5 has had a great trajectory over the last few years, we are going to work with them and continue on that trajectory,” he said. “We see a lot of opportunity to continue to improve programming.”