Viacom International Studios (VIS) is opening new production centers in Madrid and Manchester as part of the ongoing expansion of its operations in both the English and Spanish languages, following its launch in Latin America last year.
Jill Offman will assume management oversight of Elephant House Studios, Viacom’s London-based production house, which is being rebranded as Viacom International Studios UK, effective immediately.
VIS UK will simultaneously open a new production office in Manchester to support its efforts to secure English-language commissions from third-party broadcasters and distributors based in the UK, in addition to the large volume of content it already produces locally for Channel 5 and Viacom’s pay-TV channels.
Included in the UK office’s slate is a new prime time factual series for ITV, currently in production. It is VIS UK’s first original production for a platform not owned by Viacom. Details of the series will be announced at a later date.
Meanwhile, Laura Abril has been appointed to lead VIS’ expansion across western and southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MENA) based in the new Madrid outpost. She and her team are tasked with securing commissions from pay-TV operators, broadcasters and SVOD and social media platforms across these regions. Abril additionally has oversight of all production of multi-platform content for Viacom’s branded networks across these territories.
“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,” said Viacom International Media Networks CEO David Lynn in a statement. “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.”