The CBS brand will be seen across 83 territories, spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa, following a new agreement with Chellomedia. The US network will receive a 30% stake in the new venture.
As with the similar agreement made between Chellomedia and CBS Studios International in September 2009, channels from Chellomedia’s international broadcaster division, Chello Zone, will be rebranded and reprogrammed as CBS Reality, CBS Drama and CBS Action.
Dermot Shortt, CEO, Chello Zone, told Broadband TV News the deal was “transformational” for the company. “This is a complicated deal because it is multi-territory and everyone wanted to prove the principal first.”
Popular titles from the CBS television library including 48 Hours, Judge Judy, Dynasty, Star Trek, Touched By an Angel and America’s Next Top Model will feature on the channels, though third-party acquisitions will still be made.
“It means a dramatic change in the tempo of the content. In the UK we have access to the latest episodes of CSI and as the avails come over and CBS has been very good in letting us have those avails,” said Shortt.
Typically the UK schedule runs on about 60% of CBS content.
Shortt said Chello Zone would be interested in taking the partnership further, but it was very much one step at a time.
CBS international channel ventures in the UK, India, Australia and the new 83 territories now reach a combined 105 million households.
This new venture is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other approvals. Assuming clearance is forthcoming the brands will change in the fourth quarter.
Earlier this year Chello Zone sold its studio business to Broadcast Text International (BTI).