Viacom accelerates expansion in Italy

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom, has acquired a free-to-air digital terrestrial frequency in Italy (LCN 49) from Scripps Networks Interactive to launch a local version of its Spike TV network in support of its strategy to build scale in the market.

At the same time, VIMN has also confirmed it has entered into a joint venture with De Agostini Editore for the kids’ TV channel, Super!, which is also available free-to-air on digital terrestrial TV in Italy. The joint venture has been formed by VIMN acquiring a 50 per cent stake in the channel.

David Lynn, President, CEO of VIMN, commented: “Our pay TV partnerships remain the priority for Viacom, but free-to-air distribution is helping us grow ratings and revenues in TV markets where free-to-air networks are predominant. Free-to-air channel launches have helped us significantly expand our reach amongst Italian TV viewers and we’re ambitious for future share growth in this valuable and important TV market.”

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