Thursday, December 01, 2022

Nickelodeon UK Now Wholly Owned By Paramount Global

Nickelodeon UK, including its associated channels Nick Jr., Nick Jr. Too, and Nicktoons in the UK and Ireland, is now wholly owned by Paramount Global, Nickelodeon U.K. Limited's end-of-year  financial report for 2021 has revealed.

Nickelodeon UK launched in September 1993 as a 50/50 joint-venture between Viacom International Media and BSkyB Networks (British Sky Broadcasting). During the business year of 30th June 2005-30th June 2006, Nickelodeon UK acquired an additional 10% stake from BSky, making them the majority stakeholder and giving them more control over how the channel is operated.

Before late 2022, Sky's 40% share in Nickelodeon UK Ltd. was managed by a Sky UK subsidiary named Kidsprog Ltd. which was established in 1992 as a holding company for Sky's investment in Nickelodeon UK, notes the RegularCapital Audiovisual Research Wiki.

However, according to Nickelodeon UK Ltd's latest financial records, Sky Plc Limited sold their 40% stake in Nickelodeon UK on 31st October 2022, with Nickelodeon U.K. Limited becoming a 100%-owned subsidiary of Paramount Global (formally Viacom/ViacomCBS), with it's shares split between two companies:

Nickelodeon Huggings U.K. Limited - 80%
Nickelodeon UK Holdings LLC - 20%

It is thought that Sky sold their stake in Nickelodeon in a bid to launch Sky Kids, the company's own linear kids channel, in 2023, something that the JV with Nickelodeon is thought to have prevented in the past.

Up until late 2022, Lucy Murphy, The Head of Sky's children's division, and Mark Winterbottom, Director of Sky Channel Distribution used to sit on Nickelodeon UK's board alongside Paramount staff such as Jules Borkent, VP of Programming at Nickelodeon International, Maria Kyriacou, President of Paramount Global Networks International (UK and Australia), and Sarah Rose, Chief Operating and Commercial Officer at Paramount Global UK.

Although currently unconfirmed, it is thought that the change in stakes is the reason why some Nickelodeon channels are changing transponders at the moment.

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