Thursday, October 20, 2016

Virgin Media And Viacom Expand Programme Deal In The UK

UK pay TV platform Virgin Media and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) have agreed a new multi-year programming deal in the UK and Ireland.

The partnership ensures Virgin Media customers will continue to enjoy favourite networks such as Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, and Comedy Central, as will also bring new Viacom channels and additional catch up TV and box sets to Virgin Media's TV platform.

As part of the unspecified multiyear deal, Virgin Media customers will have access to hundreds of hours of box sets featuring programmes such as Geordie Shore from MTV and Inside Amy Schumer from Comedy Central. New kids box sets from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. – including SpongeBob SquarePants and Paw Patrol – and, from November, Channel 5's Milkshake will further boost Virgin Media's existing selection of kids' programmes.

Virgin Media customers will also be the first in the UK to have access to the Viacom Play Plex, which will feature four new mobile streaming apps - Nickelodeon Play, Nick Jr. Play, MTV Play and Comedy Central Play – giving them on-demand, on-the-go access to a library of content from each brand, as well another means of accessing a live feed of the relevant channel and a range of short-form content and games. As part of the deal, the Spike linear channel has also been made available to Virgin Media customers for the first time since the channel launched in April 2015, alongside more than 20 additional Viacom channels.

Viacom's most-watched TV channels will now also be available on Virgin Media's TV Anywhere platform. This means Virgin Media customers can continue to enjoy programmes from MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon on their mobile devices.

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media said: "This agreement with Viacom means our customers will not just continue to have access to some of the very best TV from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon or the newly launched Spike, but can now enjoy even more programmes on demand – whether on TV or mobile. We continue to give our customers the very best TV to watch when and how they want and it’s fantastic to work with partners who really understand this."

Arran Tindall, Senior Vice President (SVP), Commercial and Content Distribution, for Viacom International Media Networks, added: "This deal gives Virgin Media's customers even greater choice and control over what, when and where they watch the broad array of quality content that Viacom has to offer. We’re delighted to be partnering with Virgin Media to make content from all our branded networks available on every screen and both on-demand and on-the-go."

The release of the Play channels follows a model often seen in the United States where a programmer's content is tied to a cable subscription.

Time specifics of Virgin Media's and Viacom's new carriage arrangement were not announced.

Sources: Broadband TV News, TBI Vision, Advanced Television, Telecompaper, Digital TV Europe, H/T: Regular Capital.
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