American media company Viacom has said it will increase Channel 5’s programming budget after completing a deal to buy the company for £440 million from Richard Desmond’s Northern and Shell company.
Philippe Dauman, president and chief executive of Viacom, told The Guardian that it expects to ‘significantly increase’ the budget of Channel 5 which is currently at £200 million. The company, which also owns pay-TV channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon, is not planning to convert any of the Channel 5 family of channels to pay-TV only.
The Guardian has published an email sent to Viacom staff yesterday which notes that executives are not currently planning to make any “significant changes” to the business. Viacom say the deal will improve content offering for UK viewers and Viacom Networks.
“The acquisition of Channel 5 accelerates Viacom’s strategy in the UK, one of the world’s most important and valuable media markets.” – Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman
The £450 million deal sees Viacom acquire Channel 5 Broadcasting, which comprises of Channel 5, digital channels 5*, 5 USA and their +1 additions, 5 On Demand service and the popular children’s brand Milkshake! It’s thought that the deal could see some favourite programmes which appear on Viacom’s family of channels being screened on Channel 5 in the future.