CBS Corp. Strikes Deal to Rebrand Select International Chellomedia Networks

 CBS

LONDON - CBS Corp.'s CBS Studios International unit and Chellomedia have reached a new agreement to expand their existing relationship and create CBS-branded channels beyond the U.K.

Financial terms weren't disclosed. CBS will receive a 30 percent stake in the channels in return for contributing its programming and its brand name. Chellomedia is the international content division of John Malone's Liberty Global.

The partnership will tap into Chellomedia's international broadcaster arm Chello Zone and its existing array of channels in 83 territories across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Under its terms, some of these channels will be rebranded and reprogrammed as CBS Reality, CBS Drama and CBS Action.

"This new partnership expands on a successful U.K. venture for CBS-branded channels that the companies launched in November 2009," CBS Corp. said.

CBS international channel ventures in the U.K., India, Australia and the new 83 territories now reach a combined 105 million households.
 
The new CBS Chello Zone channels will be programmed with content from CBS’s TV library, which includes such hits as 48 Hours, Judge Judy, Dynasty, Star Trek and America’s Next Top Model. "In addition to drawing from CBS’s library for drama, reality and long-form content, the channels will also continue to acquire programming from third-party suppliers," the partners said.

CBS Studios International president Armando Nunez said: “This is another terrific international business opportunity using CBS’s wealth of content and globally recognized brand for equity in an exciting growth venture. It opens yet another new international distribution outlet for our vast programming library, provides another way to monetize our content and complements our strong ongoing licensing of programming around the world."
 
The CBS Chello Zone channels in the U.K. have grown. Viewership for the CBS-branded channels has increased by more than 130 percent since the start of the partnership, the companies said.
 

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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