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Viacom International buys majority stake in Youtube LATAM content producer

MUMBAI: Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has announced a definitive agreement for the acquisition of a majority interest in Porta dos Fundos. The acquisition will add one of Brazil’s leading short-form comedy content producers and the most influential global YouTube channel, according to the Zefr ranking*, to the Viacom portfolio, expanding the company’s scale in Latin America and further extending its content creation pipeline.

Under the terms of the transaction, VIMN has an option to further increase its ownership position in Porta dos Fundos in the future.

Porta dos Fundos, founded by Fabio Porchat, Antonio Tabet, João Vicente de Castro, Ian SBF and Gregorio Duvivier in 2012, is a leading video production company in Brazil known for creating short-form comedy sketches and television programming. Owned and operated by the company, the Porta dos Fundos YouTube channel is also a top 10 global Most Subscribed Entertainment channel** and currently has over 13 million subscribers. The channel recently surpassed three billion video views, making it the fifth most viewed Brazilian video producer on YouTube**. The combination of Porta dos Fundos with VIMN’s popular pay TV networks, which include Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Channel, further strengthens VIMN’s position in Brazil.

VIMN Americas president Pierluigi Gazzolo, who will oversee the business, commented: “As we continue to build scale in the Latin American region, our investment in Porta dos Fundos furthers our commitment to the Brazilian market and increases our ability to create innovative content, often native to digital platforms, which will complement our existing Viacom brands and capabilities. The talent and creativity showcased by the founding members of Porta dos Fundos in building this brand is impressive, and we are excited to join forces to expand its presence outside of Brazil via our highly successful network of brands around the world. We firmly believe that content ownership is a key driver of success and are happy to add this new dimension to our portfolio.”

Porta dos Fundos CEO Tereza Gonzalez says: “The partnership with VIMN couldn’t make us happier. The venture is a big step for the group towards expanding into the international market, with new global opportunities for our portfolio both on and offline. Additionally, the deal provides exceptional distribution channels for our content.”

The Porta dos Fundos founding team has built a powerhouse in the Brazilian comedy genre with innovative content and a tremendous creative vision that will continue to drive the company’s growth and further advance the partnership. Through this venture, VIMN and Porta dos Fundos will collaborate on various new productions in an effort to further strengthen the creative pipeline of original content for the brands’ linear and non-linear platforms. Given VIMN’s strong history in the comedy genre with Comedy Central, one of the company’s flagship brands, this pairing is a great complement and will provide countless opportunities in this area. Previously, the companies worked together on the coproduction of Portatil, a five part series that showcased Porta dos Fundos’ theater show and aired on Comedy Central Brazil in 2016.

This acquisition will build on Viacom’s long and successful track record of investment in Brazil, which began with the launch of MTV in 1990. Viacom’s portfolio in the market now includes seven branded pay TV networks, including Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, VH1, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., among others; a suite of authenticated TV Everywhere mobile applications; multiple on-the-ground events and experiences; and an extensive consumer products catalogue. VIMN has maintained a local office in São Paulo since 1998. Given VIMN’s recent acquisition of the number one free to air channel in Argentina, Telefe, and its robust portfolio of pay TV networks, Porta dos Fundos further expands the company’s presence on all media distribution and content creation platforms.

Porta dos Fundos’ assets also include other YouTube channels, the portadosfundos.com.br website, an extensive library of short-form clips, several television series, multiple mobile applications and games, as well as a line of consumer products.

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