Viacom Expands Middle East Presence With Three Channel Launches

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The company will expand its entertainment networks' offering on big pay TV operator OSN

The Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) unit will expand its entertainment networks' offering on OSN, a big pay TV operator in the Middle East and North Africa with three new 24-hour channels.

"This announcement signifies Viacom International Media Networks’ decisive move into the region and strengthens its ability to deliver high-quality content appealing to various key age demographics in MENA," Viacom said.

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The new channels are Nickelodeon HD, Nick Jr. and MTV Live HD, which are set to launch on Jan. 5. The additions will bring the total number of Viacom channels in the region to four. The company has already offered VH1 in the region. VIMN channels and content also will be available on OSN Play, an online viewing platform.

Beginning in February, Nickelodeon HD and Nick Jr. will be offered in two languages, namely English and Arabic. Viacom's Dubai Media City team will handle the production of Nickelodeon HD, "transforming it into the only international, kids TV channel available in Arabic produced in the MENA region exclusively for OSN," the company said.

Said Raffaele Annecchino, executive vp and managing director South Europe, Middle East and Africa, Viacom International Media Networks: "This partnership with OSN provides an ideal opportunity for VIMN to deliver a wide range of entertainment content to the MENA region. Our kids and family channels, Nickelodeon HD and Nick Jr., along with our music-oriented channels MTV Live HD and VH1, create a perfect balance and provide programming that appeals to audiences ranging from preschoolers to the adult demographic."

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Annecchino and his team have grown Viacom's businesses in Southern Europe and Africa. He recently told THR in an interview that there was more upside for the company in the region he oversees.

Twitter: @georgszalai