Viacom International Studios Sets Up New Production Centers


Viacom International Studios (VIS) is expanding its content-creation capabilities in Europe, setting up new production centers in Madrid and Manchester.

The move follows the successful launch of VIS in Latin America last year. The division, led by Federico Cuervo, has generated more than 900 hours of content—across scripted, comedy, reality and kids’ live action via six different production centers region-wide—that are available for presale or syndication this year.

Elephant House Studios, which originated as Channel 5’s in-house production team, is being rebranded as Viacom International Studios UK and will be led by Jill Offman. VIS UK is setting up a new office in Manchester as the division looks to expand its slate of commissions from local third-party broadcasters, adding to the content it produces for Channel 5 and Viacom’s U.K. pay-TV channels. VIS UK is already working on a factual series for ITV.

VIS UK’s general manager, Joe McLusky, and creative director, Ed Taylor, will now report to Offman, who also serves as international brand head for both Comedy Central and Paramount Network.

Laura Abril has been tapped to lead VIS’s expansion across Western and Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in Madrid. The local operation, in addition to producing for Viacom’s channels, will work on securing commissions from pay-TV operators, broadcasters and SVOD and social media platforms across these regions. The Madrid-based team will also collaborate with VIS Americas.

David Lynn, CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, commented, “Broadcasters and streamers are in a global arms race for the best content, which represents a significant growth opportunity for Viacom with our international studio capacity and in-built creative expertise, exemplified by Jill, Laura and Federico. As our competitors become more vertically integrated, Viacom is free to forge much deeper partnerships with all kinds of distributors internationally and for all types of content.”

Lynn recently outlined the strategy for VIS to World Screen. You can read that comprehensive interview here.