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Viacom launches new FTA channel in Italy

VIMN has acquired a free-to-air digital terrestrial frequency from Scripps Networks Interactive

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) will launch its Spike TV network in Italy after acquiring a free-to-air digital terrestrial frequency from Scripps Networks Interactive.

VIMN has also entered into a joint venture with De Agostini Editore for the kids’ TV channel, Super!, which is also available free-to-air on digital terrestrial TV in Italy. The joint venture has been formed by VIMN acquiring a 50 per cent stake in the channel.

Launching at the end of October, Spike Italy will target adult viewers with a mix of Viacom’s global TV hits such as Lip Sync Battle (pictured) alongside international acquisitions and local productions.

Viacom already owns and operates two FTA digital terrestrial TV channels in Italy – Paramount Channel and VH1.

David Lynn, president and CEO of VIMN, said: “Our pay TV partnerships remain the priority for Viacom, but free-to-air distribution is helping us grow ratings and revenues in TV markets where free-to-air networks are predominant. Free-to-air channel launches have helped us significantly expand our reach amongst Italian TV viewers and we’re ambitious for future share growth in this valuable and important TV market.”