Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Viacom Announces Plans to Launch Hispanic Streaming Service

Acquisition of Pluto TV creates ‘near-term’ opportunity

Viacom is planning to launch a Hispanic streaming service later this year, after it completes the acquisition of Pluto TV.

Speaking on Viacom’s First Quarter 2019 earnings call with analysts Tuesday morning, Viacom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Bakish said “we see a compelling near-term opportunity to creating a Spanish-language offering.”

The service is expected to roll out in the U.S. later this year, with Latin America to follow, Bakish said.

The new service would take advantage of “very deep content assets” including Spanish-language versions of its cable networks’ original programming plus Latin American originals from Viacom’s Telefe unit, Bakish said.

“U.S. Hispanic is a large and quickly growing market and a wide open space with no significant streaming service currently dedicated to this audience,” he said.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), the international division of Viacom Media Networks, currently operates four Nickelodeon branded channels in Latin America: Nickelodeon HD (Latinoamérica), Nick Jr., Nicktoons and Nick 2. Nickelodeon in particular has developed many local productions over the years, including Noobees (recently renewed for a second season), the upcoming Club 57, and Yo Soy Franky, which Nickelodeon remade as I Am Frankie for an international audience.

Viewers in the U.S. can also access Spanish-language Nickelodeon content via the "En Español" hubs on the award-winning Nick App, on the Nick Jr. channel (Canticos), Nick Jr. App, NickJr.com, and on Nickelodeon Preschool's SVOD service, Noggin.

It's currently unclear whether Nickelodeon programming will be included in Viacom's "En Español" streaming service.

On the call, Bakish laid out other ways in which Pluto TV will benefit Viacom after the acquisition closes, which is expected in March.

Advertising inventory on Pluto TV is digital and targetable, which will help to grow Viacom’s Advanced Marketing Services business. Viacom said that about half of Pluto TV’s current ad inventory is not being monetized, creating a big opportunity for Viacom going forward.

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Original source: Broadcasting & Cable; Additional source: Wikipedia.
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