LONDON – Chellomedia and CBS Studios International announced today a new agreement to create CBS-branded channels from Chello Zone’s existing bouquet of channels in 83 territories across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This new partnership expands on a successful U.K. venture for CBS-branded channels that the companies launched in November 2009.
Similar to the U.K. venture, channels from Chellomedia’s international broadcaster division, Chello Zone, will be rebranded and reprogrammed as CBS Reality, CBS Drama and CBS Action. Each of these channels has a unique single- or multi-territory footprint, with a collective reach of 43 million subscribers throughout 83 territories.
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The new CBS Chello Zone channels will be programmed with world-famous titles and hit franchises from CBS’s vast television library – the largest in the world, with more than 70,000 hours of content including “48 Hours,” “Judge Judy,” “Dynasty,” “Star Trek,” “Touched By an Angel” and “America’s Next Top Model.” In addition to drawing from CBS’s library for drama, reality and long-form content, the channels will also continue to acquire programming from third-party suppliers.
CBS will receive a 30% stake in the channels, contributing its programming and globally recognized trademark which was just named Brand of the Year among broadcast networks in a U.S. Harris Poll. The channels will continue to be operated by Chello Zone, with a new board being formed with representatives from CBS and Chello Zone to guide strategy and direction.
Chellomedia President Niall Curran said: “Chellomedia continues to be highly focused on building and growing the portfolio of TV channels internationally; it is very much part of our strategy to work with the best brands in entertainment; we are delighted with the partnership we have built with CBS, and we are committed to delivering growth, subscribers and performance for this partnership.”
CBS Studios International President Armando Nuñez said: “This is another terrific international business opportunity using CBS’s wealth of content and globally recognized brand for equity in an exciting growth venture. It opens yet another new international distribution outlet for our vast programming library, provides another way to monetize our content and complements our strong ongoing licensing of programming around the world. The team at Chello have been outstanding partners, matching their considerable channel expertise with our world-class content. We look forward to this new and bigger chapter of a great partnership.”
Dermot Shortt, Chief Executive Officer of Chello Zone, commented: “The upcoming launch of our new CBS Chello Zone channels is a move which will excite all our partners and audiences. It marks a great new step in our partnership with CBS Studios International, and begins a new era for both companies in the region. The U.K. channels have grown impressively, and we look forward to emulating that success across EMEA, bringing the iconic CBS program library to our millions of dedicated viewers.”
The CBS Chello Zone channels in the U.K. have grown impressively since the rebranding in 2009. Viewership for the CBS-branded channels has increased by more than 130%. (Source: November 2009 vs. June 2012 consolidated, BARB.)
CBS international channel ventures in the U.K., India, Australia and the new 83 territories now reach a combined 105 million households.
This new venture is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other approvals.