Viacom International Media Networks has acquired Italian free-to-air channel Lcn 49 from Scripps Network, on which it plans to launch an Italian version of the Spike TV network. Viacom has also formed a joint venture with Italian publisher De Agostini, through which it has taken a 50% stake in terrestrial kids’ channel Super! The new ventures come on top of the two free-to-air channels Viacom already owns in Italy: Paramount Channel and VH1.
The company announced the deals Thursday amid a turnaround effort to counter declining ad revenue in the U.S. Italy is Europe’s third-largest market for ad sales, which have shown stable growth in recent years. Unlike in other European markets such as France, foreign companies are legally able to purchase Italian free-to-air channel space.