Viacom Takes Minority Stake In Israeli TV Company Ananey

Associated Press

A day after Viacom International Media Networks appointed David Lynn as President and CEO, the entertainment conglomerate announced that it has taken a minority stake in Israeli channels provider Ananey Communications Group.

Financial details of the move were not disclosed but the deal sees the two companies build on their current relationship: Ananey already licenses or reps Viacom brands such as Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central and MTV in Israel. Nickelodeon is the country’s highest-rated children’s channel and, along with Nick Jr., reaches 49% of the country’s youth audience, which is boosted by Ananey’s local production slate.

Ananey also represents Viacom’s programing sales and consumer products business in the territory and develops television formats and programs both locally and globally, including The Green Project, The Greenhouse and Street Food Around The World.

The deal will open up the pay-TV playing field in Israel, which has seen a boom in recent years thanks to the arrival of Netflix and VOD service Cellcom TV. Under the terms of the transaction, VIMN has an option to acquire a controlling stake in Ananey in the future.

Additionally, VIMN Senior Vice President, General Manager for Central and Eastern Europe and Israel, Bartosz Witak, has joined Ananey’s board.

“This deal will deepen our partnership with Ananey, which has delivered success for both companies over many years,” said Lynn. “We are delighted to cement our strong position in this valuable pay-TV market and pursue new opportunities with a leading content producer in one of the most dynamic production sectors internationally. We have confidence that the Ananey team will continue to excel in the local and international market and we are excited about what the future will bring.”

Ananey Communications Group founder and Chairman Uid Miron said: “This partnership with Viacom is testimony to the strength and creativity of Ananey Communications Group. After years of successfully representing Viacom in Israel, we are honoured to take this partnership one step further; we believe together we will achieve even greater success in Israel and internationally.”

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