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ViacomCBS Acquiring Latin American Broadcaster Chilevision From AT&T

By Eric Volkman - Apr 5, 2021 at 6:00PM

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The WarnerMedia unit is the seller of the big South American TV asset.

An incumbent Latin American broadcaster is about to get a new owner, as ViacomCBS (PARA 13.67%) announced Monday it has agreed to acquire Chilevision. The seller is the WarnerMedia unit of AT&T (T -0.02%), and the price was not made public.

As its name implies, Chilevision is a free-to-air TV channel operator headquartered in, and concentrated on, the broadcast market in Chile. According to ViacomCBS, it captured around 24% of overall viewership in the populous South American country last year.

A couple seated on a couch, watching TV.

Image source: Getty Images.

"Chilevision's library is comprised of substantial content spanning multiple genres including sports, entertainment, and news, and it has vast production capabilities," ViacomCBS wrote in the press release trumpeting the deal. The South American network will become part of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), the company's business unit comprising assets outside the U.S. 

"These attributes, in combination with Chilevision network's reach, and a windowing strategy of its content pipeline through free, paid, and premium, will serve as a valuable marketing vehicle for VCNI's streaming platforms in the region, and expand VCNI's studio and linear presence in the region."

With its relatively long history, Chilevision has a large library of content, which according to its owner-to-be sprawls across numerous genres. Those offerings will be bolstered by durable ViacomCBS properties such as MTV and Nickelodeon.

ViacomCBS did not provide any estimates for how its ownership of Chilevision would impact its financials. As for the purchase itself, the company said it would be paid for through its existing cash balance. At the end of its most recently reported quarter, ViacomCBS had nearly $3 billion in cash on its books.

Shareholders didn't seem impressed by this latest deal. The company's stock fell by 3.9% on Monday, against a 1.4% gain for the S&P 500 index.


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