MTV owner Viacom has completed its takeover of Channel 5 and announced its first joint programme commissions.
The US media company, which announced its £450 million takeover of Richard Desmond’s Channel 5 in May, has been given unconditional clearance from the European Commission to close the deal.
At the time of the deal the US pay-TV giant vowed to significantly increase Channel 5’s £200 million annual programming budget, and has now unveiled its first two joint programme commissions between the broadcaster and Viacom’s UK operation.
Channel 5 and MTV UK have jointly commissioned a reality entertainment show called 10,000 BC, made by production company The Garden and WPP’s GroupM Entertainment, which will air on Channel 5 next year. A spin-off show will air on MTV UK.
In addition Viacom’s Nickelodeon has tied up with Milkshake, Channel 5’s childrens programming strand, to develop animated series Nella the Knight.
“Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom’s investment in British creativity and content,” said Philippe Dauman, Viacom chief executive. “We are committed to strengthening Channel 5’s status as one of UK 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. The addition Channel 5 will also benefit from our existing UK pay television channel portfolio, as demonstrated by the announcement of our first two original programming commissions.”