Viacom confirmed through a press release that it has acquired Argentine TV broadcaster Telefe from Telefónica. The transaction has been concluded for a total amount of USD 345 million in cash. It is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Viacom said that it acquired all of Telefe’s brands and assets, including Telefe in Buenos Aires Capital and Gran Buenos Aires, eight wholly-owned channels in the interior of the country, the pay TV channel Telefe Internacional, the multiplatform apps Mi Telefe (My Telefe) and Telefe Noticias (Telefe News), and a multi-channel network called UPlay. The transaction – which had been reported by Bloomberg early this month – also includes twelve production studios and a library of over 33,000 hours of content currently distributed in more than 100 countries in 35 languages.
Telefe will fall under the direction of Pierluigi Gazzolo, President of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Americas.
The free-to-air channel reaches 95% of all households in Argentina, a country of 43 million, and according to Viacom has attracted approximately 33% share of viewership year-to-date in 2016.
Bob Bakish, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom said “Telefe is an outstanding broadcast and production business, and this acquisition will accelerate our growth strategy in Argentina”. In turn, the company will “expand Telefe’s presence around the world using Viacom’s extensive global network, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of Spanish speakers across Latin and North America, as well as in other markets”.
According to Antonio Marti, Director of Business Transformation and Planning at Telefónica’s Chief Commercial Digital Office, this transaction “allows the Company to concentrate even more on its principal activities in Argentina: the development of the telecommunications sector and the most advanced technologies in connectivity to drive the digital society of the future. Thus, Telefónica ratifies its strong commitment to a connected Argentina, which plays a leading role in the digital revolution”.
Viacom’s portfolio in the market now includes 12 branded pay TV networks, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, Paramount Channel and VH1, among others. VIMN has maintained a local office in Buenos Aires since 1995.