Viacom announced a new deal with Telefonica today that will give mobile subscribers in Latin America streaming access to its shows and networks.
Beginning in the first half of 2018, Movistar Play will offer live feeds of MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central and Paramount Channel. Viacom said it’s the first live TV mobile streaming deal for Telefonica.
The company also said that it’s the first deal Viacom has ever struck directly with a mobile operator for carriage of its core channels.
In addition, Viacom mobile streaming apps including MTV Play, Nickelodeon Play, Comedy Central Play and Noggin will also be available to Movistar Play subscribers.
The new mobile deal is an extension of Viacom International Media Networks’ existing deal with Telefonica’s pay TV services that covers VIMN’s linear channels and VOD content.
“Mobile streaming is growing in popularity across Latin America—to stay in touch with our young audiences we need our brands and content to be everywhere they are. We are very happy to extend our deal with Telefónica and add our channels, our content and our mobile products to their successful mobile TV offer through Movistar Play,” said Rita Herring, senior vice president of Content Distribution at Viacom Americas, in a statement.
The new deal with Telefonica offers further proof of Viacom’s ambitions to offer its content directly via mobile operators. Last year, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told Reuters that his company is setting up a division employing around 100 people who will focus on producing short-form shows designed for mobile consumption.
During Viacom’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call in November, Bakish reconfirmed his company’s interest in mobile distribution.
“We've been piloting video distribution on mobile outside the U.S., and we’re beginning to see some of that activity in the U.S. And by the time we get into 2019, we believe that will be a factor and that will be a strong positive,” said Bakish, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.