Viacom is preparing to launch a raft of Paramount movie channels internationally and the first launch will be in Spain.
In the wake of its quarterly results, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told analysts that the company is preparing to launch channels programmed with content from Paramount Pictures globally. “I think very rapidly in the next two to three years, you will see in many, many, many countries Paramount channels. The first will be in Spain,” he said. “We have several others lined up. There’s a lot of demand for the library movie channels and of course, Paramount is an exceptional library and brand. So I see a lot of opportunity in emerging markets with opening them up and opportunities in existing markets to launch more of our brands.”
Viacom announced last April that Michael Armstrong had been upped to senior vice-president and general manager, BET International and Paramount Pictures Channels, with a remit to expand BET’s presence in global markets and to launch Paramount Pictures. Spain is the first confirmed Paramount Pictures launch although Dauman did not specify timing.
Paramount Pictures will be an international brand. In its domestic US market its content is screened on the Epix cable channel. Its current slate includes Hugo and The Adventures of Tintin, although a large number of new titles will be taken by free and pay TV channels that have output deals with the studio. Library fare includes the Star Trek movies as well as Friday the 13th, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Beverly Hills Cop.
The news of the Spanish Paramount Pictures launch came as parent company Viacom reported first-quarter results. Year on year net earnings in the quarter dropped 65%, taking the total to US$212 million (€161 million). The company blamed the effects of a lawsuit relating to the Rock Band video game and soft ratings at its kids network Nickelodeon for the slump. Overall revenue in the quarter was US$3.9 billion compared with US$3.8 billion a year earlier.