MTV, Nick expand localisation initiatives in China

MUMBAI: Viacom chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone has announced several initiatives for its businesses in China for MTV and Nickelodeon.

These include a partnership with Beijing Television (BTV) for music and entertainment content production.

Tripling distribution in the Guangdong Province by year-end, MTV China will extend its reach to nearly 10 million TV households across China. It is launching its first locally produced HIV/Aids prevention campaign.

Meanwhile CCTV has agreed to extend an agreement for Nickelodeon programming for its first dedicated children's channel.

Viacom's alliance with BTV will produce Chinese language music and entertainment programming. These will be distributed to BTV's channels, as well as to other channels across China and around the world.

This deal follows the company's announcement in March of China's first production joint venture through Shanghai Media Group (SMG), to create Chinese language kids programming for distribution in China and abroad. The Viacom/SMG JV has since moved forward on developing its first productions, and expects the programming to launch early next year.

As part of Viacom's global commitment to fighting HIV/Aids, MTV China has rolled out its first locally produced awareness and prevention campaign over the past month with a public service announcement (PSA) Ninja: The Enduring Master . It also launched a Mandarin language version of MTV International's HIV/Aids information Web site,

The Ninja spot has aired on MTV China, as well as on its syndicated programming blocks, which reach 117 million cable and terrestrial TV households across China. CCTV has extended its deal with Nick following the success of CatDog and The Wild Thornberrys..

Nielsen data indicates that the shows managed to get an average share of 5.6 and 5.3 for the Kids 4-9 age group. In addition, discussions are underway for agreements between the two companies, including CCTV-produced kids content to air on Nickelodeon channels outside of China and further Nickelodeon programming and licensing deals for CCTV's kids channel.

Redstone added, "Our announcements highlight Viacom's ongoing commitment to celebrating Chinese culture around the world. China's rich and vibrant creativity is under-exposed outside of China, Viacom sees significant opportunities for facilitating cultural exchange between China and other countries around the world particularly in the US."

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