American media company Viacom has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Channel 5 for £450 million. Viacom, which owns channels including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central is set to buy the broadcaster and its subsidiary channels, 5* and 5USA, as well as the Milkshake! brand and digital catch-up TV service Demand 5.
Channel 5 is the only commercial public service broadcaster to consistently grow viewership share in recent years, with its programming viewed by more than 80% of the UK population each month.
"The acquisition of Channel 5 accelerates Viacom's strategy in the UK, one of the world's most important and valuable media markets," said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman (pictured). "Viacom's global resources, technology and expertise will help Channel 5 develop even more compelling programming and provide content to consumers in exciting new ways. In addition, we will introduce our popular content to new UK audiences and create a comprehensive offering for our commercial partners on-air and on-line.
Paul Dunthorne, chief operating officer of Channel 5, added, "Since Northern & Shell's acquisition of Channel 5 in 2010, the financial and operating performance of the business has been transformed with improved audiences and content offering. The combination of Channel 5 with Viacom's global resources, technology and expertise adds further to the momentum of the business and offers numerous exciting opportunities for the channel's future."