Viacom buys Britain's Channel 5 Broadcasting for $760 million

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Media company Viacom has significantly expanded its international footprint by buying television outlet Channel 5 Broadcasting in Britain.

Viacom -- which owns cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central -- said it has agreed to pay nearly $760 million to British press baron Richard Desmond for the over-the-air channel.

Several other US media companies had been interested in Channel 5, which launched in 1997 as Britain's fifth public broadcasting service. The channel notches more than 42 million viewers a month.

“The acquisition of Channel 5 accelerates Viacom’s strategy in the UK, one of the world’s most important and valuable media markets,” Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said in a statement announcing the move. "We believe we will be able to invest in even more programming for Channel 5," Dauman told analysts. He said Viacom would pay cash for the channel.

Viacom buys Britain's Channel 5 Broadcasting for $760 million