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Viacom International Media Networks Press

Viacom International Media Networks Press
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Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), is comprised of many of the world's most popular multimedia entertainment brands.

VIMN appoints Chris Rose as VP of International Animation Production & Development, Nickelodeon

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has announced Chris Rose as the new vice president of International Animation Production & Development for Nickelodeon.

Reporting to Nina Hahn, senior vice president of International Production and Development for Nickelodeon, Rose will lead the internal and external animation development and production teams for Nickelodeon International.

“I am very excited to welcome Chris to the Nickelodeon family. Chris has an established track record of identifying innovative new IP and developing fresh titles that have gained industry acclaim. His creative sensibility and eye for children’s television will play a key role in developing Nickelodeon’s global animations,” said Hahn. “I trust that his passion for unique, winning content will continue to elevate the work of our animation team, and capture the attention and affection of children around the world.”

With twenty years of experience in broadcasting, development and production, Rose joins Nickelodeon from Beano Studios in London, where he led the development and production of long form television, film and theatre productions. Prior to joining Beano Studios, Rose was the Commissioning Editor of Children’s Television at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, developing and executive producing commissioned content for ABC’s two dedicated children’s channels, ABC ME and ABC KIDS.

 

NickToons announces first local animated acquisition

NickToons (DStv channel 308) in association with local animation studio, Sunrise Productions is proud to announce its first South African animation acquisition for the channel. Munki and Trunk will be coming to SA screens from 2 April 2018 at 17h15 exclusively on NickToons.

Munki and Trunk is a dialogue-free 3D animated TV series for kids aged 4 to 7. Munki is a vine-swinging force of nature, hungry for bananas and adventure. Trunk is a big-hearted elephant who loves to nurture and play. These unlikely best friends explore their world together, facing fears and helping friends along the way. It’s the most fun you can have in the jungle.

The Nickelodeon channels have always been passionate about supporting local production for content and this animation development paves the way to showcase South African industry talent and storytelling. Munki and Trunk is great African storytelling with relatable characters featuring strong themes of friendship and edutainment in a wholesome child-friendly manner.

Tasania Parsadh, channel director for Nickelodeon, NickToons and Nick Jr in Africa says, “NickToons places a strong focus on educational and entertaining content with great stories and characters that empower kids to learn while they play. Munki and Trunk specifically brings in wholesome themes of friendship, laughter and humour, cultivating a love and awareness of nature and its environment together with problem-solving, which is very in line with our programming for the channel.”

Sunrise Productions is a local production company with a full-service animation studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. Launched in 1998, Sunrise made an impact on the world of media with the release of the first-ever feature-length stop-motion animation to come out of Africa.  Munki and Trunk is written and directed by Sam Wilson, with Tim Keller as producer for Sunrise Productions.

Munki and Trunk is a beautifully crafted CGI series, with wonderful character designs and brilliantly funny storylines. At Sunrise there’s an intense focus on quality, from the storytelling and the animation right down to the moss on the rocks in the background.  We are delighted that the show will premiere on NickToons, it’s the perfect home for Munki and Trunk”, says series producer Tim Keller.

The Nickelodeon Channel Group consists of Nickelodeon, NickToons and Nick Jr. NickToons is broadcast on DStv Channel 308, Nick Jr on DStv Channel 307 and Nickelodeon on DStv Channel 305.

For more information on NickToons visit the Nickelodeon Africa website, also like Nickelodeon on Facebook or follow Nickelodeon on Twitter @NickAfrica using the hashtag #MunkiandTrunk.

Trevor Noah selects Loyiso Madinga to helm Daily Show segments for Africa

Comedy Central, the largest global comedy brand and part of Viacom, has announced that Trevor Noah, executive producer, writer and host, has selected Loyiso Madinga to helm topical segments for the African broadcast of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Inserting local relevance to the global hit, the South African-based correspondent’s segments will air intermittently on Comedy Central across the continent. The first piece, a field report from the African National Congress Elective Conference, will debut in Africa on 11 January 11.

“As wild as Donald Trump is for America, many countries around the world have Trumps of their own and since The Daily Show is in many countries, we thought ‘why not give each country a chance to show off their stable geniuses?,’” said Trevor Noah.

“Trevor’s curious obsession with South Africa aside, this is a great step in the continual globalisation of The Daily Show, which has expanded to unprecedented levels since he took over,” said Kent Alterman, president Comedy Central.

“I am really excited to create a voice for local satire. What is really great is this places an authentic spotlight on local comedy and presents a reality that combats the stereotypical perception of Africa. Being part of The Daily Show, I get to join the best conversation in the world” said Loyiso Madinga.

“We’re always looking for ways to take global hits and localise them for regions around the world by adding great local talent, like Loyiso,” said Jill Offman, executive vice president and head of Paramount Channel and Comedy Central International. “This is a pilot, so down the road you may see more internationally based correspondents, making The Daily Show a truly global yet local show for regions around the world.”

Loyiso (@loyisomadinga) is a stand-up comedian from South Africa who has quickly risen to being a celebrated international comic. Loyiso’s career has been on the fast track since his debut in 2012 where he also shared the stage with international acts such as Tom Segura. Since then, he quickly became a regular on local comedian, David Kau’s Blacks Only line up. He has also travelled South Africa as part of Trevor Noah’s Nationwild tour and represented his home country at the Montreux Comedy Festival in Switzerland and Busan Comedy Festival in Korea. Loyiso has written and performed on the two-time Emmy finalist satire show, Late Nite News with South African, Loyiso Gola, and also written and performed on the hit local sketch show, Bantu Hour.

Internationally, ratings for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah were up +35% YOY for all viewers across 10 measured markets* for calendar year 2017, driven by strong growth in the UK and South Africa. On the domestic front, viewership for The Daily Show was up +15% in 2017 and ratings among the key demo of adults 18-49 were up +9%. In the U.S., The Daily Show ranks as the top late-night talk show among millennial men (18-34) and is the #2 talk show with all millennials, behind only The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Comedy Central’s programming list helped it reach 372 million subscribers in 146 countries worldwide in fiscal 2017, compared with 285 million in fiscal 2016.

Trevor Noah, Steve Bodow, Jen Flanz and Jill Katz are the executive producers of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, with Justin Melkmann as co-executive producer. Max Browning, Eric Davies, Pam DePace, Ramin Hedayati and Elise Terrell are supervising producers. Zhubin Parang is the head writer with Daniel Radosh as senior writer. The series is directed by Paul Pennolino. Sarah Babineau is the executive in charge of Production for Comedy Central. Kagiso Lediga is the director of Loyiso’s local segment for Africa.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs at 21h30 CAT on Comedy Central across Africa. Viewers can follow The Daily Show on Twitter (7.3M followers) and Instagram (1M followers), subscribe to their YouTube channel (2.7M subscribers) and become a fan of The Daily Show on Facebook (7.5M fans). Fans can follow Trevor Noah on Twitter (8.5M followers), Facebook (4.7M fans) and Instagram (2M followers).

Viacom International Media Networks appoints Melody Tan as COO

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) recently announced the appointment of Melody Tan as its chief operating officer (COO).

Tan takes up her new role with immediate effect, based in New York and reporting to VIMN’s president and CEO, David Lynn. She replaces Jose Tolosa, who has been appointed as chief transformation officer for VIMN’s parent company, Viacom Inc.

Working closely with Lynn and the leadership of VIMN’s four pan-regional management centres, Tan will have operational responsibility for the company’s growth strategy, with a focus on increasing VIMN’s scale in high-value and high-growth markets and evolving its content and distribution strategies to take advantage of new over-the-top revenue opportunities.

She will have management oversight of VIMN’s centralised strategic services, including Finance, Business and Legal Affairs, Strategy and Operations, Business Intelligence, Multi-Platform Products and HR.

Lynn commented: “Melody is super-smart with an in-depth understanding of digital disruption and a strong track record in senior strategic and operational roles with Viacom. She will add proven leadership skills to our New York headquarters, as we aim to continue growing revenues ahead of the market and adapting our business model to the growing popularity of on-demand and on-the-go consumption.”

He added: “Jose has played a leading role in growing the size and profitability of our international business. I’m very sorry to see him leave VIMN, but excited for his new opportunity with Viacom and delighted to have an executive of Melody’s quality to replace him in this important role.”

Avid enters into multiyear enterprise agreement with Viacom

Avid, a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution and
monetisation of media assets for global media organisations, enterprise users and
individual creative professionals, recently announced a multiyear enterprise
agreement with global entertainment company Viacom to enhance its worldwide
production infrastructure on Avid’s MediaCentral platform. The industry’s most open,
tightly integrated and efficient platform, designed for media will enhance
collaboration, and increase efficiency and productivity, while introducing new
economies of scale, and a path to the cloud for Viacom’s operations, starting with the
deployment of Media Composer | Cloud Remote, which enables editors to remotely
connect and collaborate with teams no matter where they’re located.

Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create television programmes,
motion pictures, games, consumer products, live events and other entertainment
content for audiences in more than 180 countries. Its media networks reach over 3.9
billion cumulative television subscribers globally. The company plans to invest in
Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, manage, deliver and
optimize media content.

“Viacom is the latest member of Avid’s growing community of preeminent customers
to adopt a single platform approach and an easily scalable virtualised workflow across
its brands,’ said Avid president Jeff Rosica. “Avid’s unifying platform and solutions
enable Viacom to navigate the dramatically changing media environment and deliver a
consistent and higher-value product while finding a new means to control operating
costs.’
With this enterprise-wide agreement, MediaCentral will support Viacom brands
including Paramount, Nickelodeon, BET Networks and CMT in Los Angeles, New York,
Nashville and Miami, as well as Viacom International Networks. By working with
Viacom to deploy a common platform, and deliver enterprise-wide service and support
programs, Avid is helping create financial models that deliver stronger return on
investment. Defined technology upgrades and refresh cycles will enable Viacom to
optimise content across all facilities.

“Avid’s approach to enterprise-wide technology deployments and market-leading
creative solutions align perfectly with our long-term strategic goals,’ said David Kline,
chief technology officer, Viacom. “This agreement will enable Viacom to increase the
value and benefits from our technology investments, which are essential in today’s
rapidly changing market.’

Viacom greenlights five original series from around the world

Viacom International Media Networks has announced the greenlight of five original
short form series on its international content slate: Sharkdog from Asia and
MooseBox from South Africa, Nickelodeon International’s first two animated
short form series; and season two orders for Comedy Central International short form
hits Absolutely Fine, Share This and Bad Snappers.

Sharkdog and MooseBox are the first international short form
animated series to come out of Nickelodeon’s annual Global Animated Shorts
Program, designed to identify and develop original comedy-driven content for kids.
Besides Sharkdog and MooseBox, a further 21 pitches were chosen
out of 850 pitches and developed into animated shorts, with the potential to air on the
network or live on the Nickelodeon Play app.

“We are always on the lookout for original content that’s emotional, broad, simple and
character-driven, and we love working with creative talent from around the world,’
said Nina Hahn, senior vice president, International Production & Development.
Sharkdog and MooseBox originated from our Global Animated
Shorts Program and have grown into the perfect fit for Nickelodeon’s global content
pipeline.’

Nickelodeon’s rapidly expanding short form content slate introduces
MooseBox, created by Mike Scott with the short form series produced by
South African studio Mind’s Eye Creative. The original short was produced by South
Africa-based Triggerfish Animation. In the 20 x 90-second episode order, Moose and
CatBox (AKA ‘MooseBox’) are two best friends who need each other as much as they
need to play, explore and survive the unpredictable video game world called The
Cube.

Both Sharkdog and MooseBox will premiere on the Nickelodeon Play
app in several international markets.

Viacom International Media Networks announces key appointments

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), recently announced key appointments for two of Viacom’s flagship brands: The Paramount Channel and BET International.

Alex Okosi, executive vice president and managing director of VIMN Africa, will expand his role to include oversight of BET in all markets outside of the US. Jill Offman has been promoted to executive vice president, and will add oversight of The Paramount Channel to her current role as head of Comedy Central International and managing director of MTV UK and Comedy Central UK. Both will report to David Lynn, President and CEO of VIMN.

Additionally, Jill Offman will continue to report to James Currell, President and MD, VIMN UKNEE; and Alex Okosi will continue to report to Raffaele Annecchino, President and MD of VIMN SWEMEA with respect to their existing cluster specific roles.

President and CEO of VIMN, David Lynn said; “Alex expertly spearheaded the growth and expansion of Viacom in Africa and has overseen the creation of an incredible variety of content and experiences that spotlight the best of African-American and African culture and creativity. I look forward to seeing him bring that same passion and strategic approach to the BET brand in markets around the world.”

“Jill is a creative, strategic leader whose vision continues to drive share and distribution growth for Comedy Central internationally. In this new role, she will lead the international development of one of the most iconic entertainment brands in the world,’ added Lynn.

Alex Okosi:
In his expanded role, Okosi will manage the development and overall strategy for BET International. The driving force behind VIMN Africa, he will continue to oversee entertainment brands MTV Base, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., NickToons, VH1 Classic‎ and BET on the African continent. Under Okosi’s leadership, VIMN Africa has become one of Viacom’s fastest growing international operations driven by the expansion of its portfolio of brands on multiple platforms including pay-TV, FTA, internet, SVOD and mobile. Now in its thirteenth year, VIMN Africa delivers more channels to Africa than any other international network with a collective footprint that reaches 48 territories and more than 100 million viewers.

Appointed Executive Vice President and Managing Director of VIMN Africa in early 2017, Okosi joined Viacom in 1998 as part of the Trade Marketing team in New York, prior to joining MTV Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing division in Los Angeles in 2000. By mid-2003, Okosi transferred to MTV Networks International’s Strategy and Business Development team in London where he created the business plan that led to Viacom’s expansion into Africa.

Jill Offman:
In her new role, Offman will direct the international brand strategy and development of The Paramount Channel, which debuted outside of the US in 2012 and has since grown to 12 channels available in 115 countries. She will continue to lead Comedy Central outside the US, where she oversees the creative vision and business strategy. Under her leadership, Comedy Central International has grown its share of viewing 7 percent year-over-year, and expanded its international footprint to nearly 200 million households in 145 countries. Offman is also Managing Director for Comedy Central UK and MTV UK. In this position, she leads the programming teams for both brands in this market, with responsibility for all the original commissions and acquisitions, as well as research, marketing, communications and creative.

Offman joined Comedy Central UK in 2008 and oversaw a highly successful rebrand from Paramount Comedy to Comedy Central the following year. Offman began her career as a journalist and award-winning filmmaker for the CBC in Canada. She was later hired as head of programming for Discovery Canada’s factual channels portfolio and was subsequently recruited to head up Discovery in the UK, being promoted to run programming for all 11 channels in the Discovery portfolio.

Viacom explores partnership with Paramount Pictures

Viacom Inc. has initiated a process to explore opportunities for a significant
strategic minority equity investment in Paramount Pictures. The announcement was
made by Philippe Dauman, Viacom’s executive chairman, president and CEO, at the
Jefferies Media and Communications Conference which took place from 23 to 24 February 2016 in New York City.

“We have received indications of interest from potential partners seeking a strategic
investment in Paramount Pictures and I have decided to pursue discussions with a
select group of potential investors,” Dauman said. “In this time of change and
enormous opportunity in our industry, a partnership will bring significant benefit to
Paramount and Viacom, both strategically and financially, provide new opportunities
for Paramount’s employees and talent, and enhance long-term value for all Viacom
shareholders.”

“In addition, the value of motion picture content continues to increase with the
explosion of screens and the rapid expansion of the global theatrical market. This is
the perfect time to explore new strategies to capitalise on Paramount’s content
expertise and global platform, maximise opportunities for its continued growth, and
unlock the value of the business for the benefit of shareholders.” Dauman added.

Viacom launches a suite of branded mobile TV apps

On 9 September 2015, Viacom announced the launch of Viacom Play Plex, a suite of
mobile TV apps allowing its distribution partners to offer smartphone and tablet
users around the world access to the best content from all its international TV
brands, anytime and anywhere.

Starting in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Viacom Play Plex apps will be available to
launch in every one of the 180 international territories in which Viacom owns and
operates TV channels, including 50+ territories in Africa, such as South African and
Nigeria. There will be a separate mobile Play app for each of Viacom’s major
international TV channel brands – Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount
Channel, Spike and BET – offering video-on-demand (VOD) access to a range of
current and library content, as well as a live, local linear stream of the relevant
channel, and other content including games for Nick Play.

Viacom is exploring a number of different distribution options for Viacom Play Plex,
with the suite of apps being offered on both a collective and standalone basis to
existing pay TV partners in every territory to integrate into their “TV Everywhere’
services where available. A number of pay-TV providers have already signed deals
with Viacom to offer subscribers authenticated access to the Nick app, including
NOS in Portugal, while Viacom is collaborating with a number of other providers on
upcoming launches including Foxtel in Australia, and OSN in the Middle East and
North Africa region. The Nick app, which has been rolled out in five international
markets since 2013, is being updated and rebranded as Nick Play internationally to
become part of Viacom Play Plex.

Viacom will also look for new distribution partners for the Viacom Play Plex apps,
including mobile network operators.

Bob Bakish, president and CEO, Viacom International Media Networks, commented:
“Viacom Play Plex offers us maximum flexibility in distributing our content as the
way viewers consume their favourite TV shows continues to evolve. These apps are
designed to complement our linear pay TV channels and to allow our existing
distribution partners to deepen and improve the entertainment experience they
offer their subscribers. But, Viacom Play Plex also opens up new distribution
opportunities for us, particularly in the fast-growing mobile TV sector and
ultimately, positions us to succeed in a world of more personalised entertainment
services and greater consumer choice.’

Each branded Play app will be localised for each country in which it is made
available, both in terms of language and available content, giving users more ways
to access Viacom’s global hits such as SpongeBob SquarePants,
Catfish
and Lip Sync Battle, as well as locally-produced
content.

Mobile TV viewers everywhere will enjoy an intuitive, video-focused user interface
and enhanced video player, which reduces loading and buffering times, as well as
an algorithmic menu that adapts to their tastes. Apps will include social and sharing
components, and will be available in both iOS and Android to download from the
Apple App store and Google Play store respectively.

Bakish added: “Viacom Play Plex allows viewers across the globe to watch the TV
shows they love from their favourite Viacom brands anytime and anywhere. We
believe no other international entertainment company is offering this type of
innovation at this scale, serving every major demographic in every major TV
market.’

VIMN launches Twitter Amplify partnership

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) and Twitter have announced an international partnership on Twitter Amplify.

The partnership is a programme through which the companies will deliver social video advertising campaigns around the biggest television properties and live events across VIMN’s platforms, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel and more.

Airing live across MTV channels around the world from the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, the partnership launches on Sunday 10 November at 22h00 CAT. MTV offers sponsorship opportunities around real-time highlights of the show’s most popular performances, unexpected moments, exclusive backstage interviews and more via its Twitter accounts with followers in more than 170 countries and territories worldwide.

Chris Shaw, executive vice president and managing director of BeViacom, VIMN’s ad sales unit, says: “The 2013 MTV EMA is a global phenomenon and one of the few live entertainment events that drives Twitter activity across entire continents. We’re thrilled to be pioneering this initiative in Europe and across the world, creating a truly unique opportunity for marketers looking to join the global youth conversation around the 2013 MTV EMA.’

Glenn Brown, senior director of Twitter Amplify, comments: “We are excited to build on the success of our US Twitter Amplify partnership with Viacom by rolling it out internationally, including across the UK and Europe. The EMAs are the perfect way to start the program, allowing brands to tap into the conversations already happening on Twitter by offering people highlights and exclusive content across all devices.’

VIMN’s shows and events steadily drive substantial activity on Twitter. MTV has 10.8m Twitter followers outside the US. During the show, the 2012 MTV EMA delivered record tweets of 5.7m, an increase of +104% in comparison with 2011. The show also resulted in 32 worldwide trending topics on Twitter.

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