The deal, which was announced on 1st May this year, was closed yesterday after receiving unconditional clearance from the European Commission.
Philippe Dauman, Viacom president and CEO, said: “Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom’s investment in British creativity and content. 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.”
To coincide with taking ownership of the UK broadcaster, Viacom announced the first joint commissions between Channel 5 and its UK pay TV channels.
Viacom’s Nickelodeon is joining with Channel 5’s pre-school strand Milkshake to develop a new animated series, Nella the Knight, intended to be their first co-production under Viacom ownership. The series will be produced in the UK and co-funded by the two broadcasters, who will share broadcast rights, as they already do with a variety of other popular pre-school programmes including Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Bubble Guppies. Episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will also begin airing on Channel 5.