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Viacom has completed its US$340 million acquisition of US-based streaming television service Pluto TV, a deal designed to expand Viacom’s presence across next-generation distribution platforms.

The ad-supported over-the-top service will operate as an independent subsidiary of Viacom, led by President and CEO Tom Ryan, and will provide a direct-to-consumer outlet for Viacom’s channels and brands.

The Pluto TV deal will also accelerate Viacom’s advanced marketing solutions business, serving as a “significant incremental source of targeted inventory,” particularly aimed at younger demographics.

At the same time, Viacom pledged to solidify Pluto TV’s position in the US market and accelerate its growth internationally, following its European debut in late 2018.

“The completion of this deal marks an exciting next step in Viacom’s evolution and a powerful opportunity for us to extend our consumer reach and broaden our ability to add value across the industry as the media landscape continues to segment,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom President and CEO.

“Together with Pluto TV, we look forward to becoming a stronger partner to distributors, advertisers, content providers and audiences around the world.”

Pluto TV was founded in 2013 and streams more than 100 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand content – spanning TV and movies, sports, news, lifestyle, comedy, cartoons, gaming and digital series.

The service debuted in Europe in October 2018 when it went live in the UK and followed this by rolling out in Germany and Austria in December. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and has offices in New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago and Berlin.

Viacom, which owns channel brands including MTV, Comedy Central, Bet and Nickelodeon, first announced that it had agreed to buy Pluto TV in January 2019. At the time it said that it expected the deal to close in the first quarter of the year.


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