ViacomCBS Buys Chilevision From WarnerMedia

WarnerMedia Headquarters for Chilevision in Santiago, Chile
Courtesy of WarnerMedia

WarnerMedia Headquarters for Chilevision in Santiago, Chile.

The latest asset sale from within the AT&T orbit aims to expand ViacomCBS Networks International's footprint in Latin America.

ViacomCBS Networks International has acquired the Chilevisión TV network and library from WarnerMedia as parent AT&T continues to sell off non-core assets to pay off debt.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ViacomCBS said it will fund the acquisition from existing cash balances. The deal aims to expand VCNI's footprint in Latin America and feed new premium content to its expanding streaming business led by Paramount+ and Pluto TV.

It also comes as content companies look to capture the burgeoning Hispanic TV market in the U.S. and Latin America as it grows in size and spending power. Last week, Hemisphere Media Group bought Lionsgate's 75 percent stake in U.S. Hispanic subscription video-on-demand service Pantaya for $124 million in cash to take full control of Pantaya and its 900,000 subscribers after it held a 25 percent stake.

VCNI's acquisition includes Chilevisión’s free-to-air TV network. "Latin America is one of the world’s fastest-growing streaming markets, and Chilevisión will be a key driver of our accelerated streaming strategy in the region,” said Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO of VCNI, in a statement. VCNI Americas has offices in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

AT&T has been looking at the sale of non-core assets to reduce its debt, which stood at $147.5 billion at the end of 2020. The telecom giant recently struck a deal to sell a minority stake in its satellite TV unit DirecTV, AT&T TV and its U-Verse business to private equity firm TPG.

Other asset sales include AT&T selling a majority stake in Central European Media Enterprises for $1.1 billion and the anime outfit Crunchyroll to Sony.