Viacom has finally closed its takeover deal of Channel 5 – but there is yet no news on an official contract renewal for Big Brother
Viacom has today completed the full takeover of Channel 5, after previous owner Richard Desmond decided to depart the network earlier this year.
Desmond had taken over Channel 5 in 2011, and was responsible for bringing Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother back to TV after it was axed by Channel 4 the previous year. The company has been given unconditional clearance from the European Commission to close the deal. The network has promised to increase the networks annual budget of £200 Million.
They have also announced a brand new reality TV show which will air on Channel 5 next year, which will see contestants live in the stone age. 10,000 BC will run on Channel 5, and air a spin-off show on MTV.
“Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom’s investment in British creativity and content,” said Philippe Dauman, Viacom chief executive. “We are committed to strengthening Channel 5’s status as one of UK broadcasting’s premier brands, and we will continue to grow the network’s pipeline of original programming with more quality commissions, as well as acquisitions.
“The addition Channel 5 will also benefit from our existing UK pay television channel portfolio, as demonstrated by the announcement of our first two original programming commissions.”