Nick Appoints Riki Group As Exclusive Licensing Agency In Russia & CIS

Nickelodeon Consumer Products, a division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), announced today at Brand Licensing Europe that they have signed an agreement that will see Russian multi-media production, licensing, event and publishing organisation, Riki Group, exclusively represent Nickelodeon Consumer Products in the Russia and CIS market.

Press Release from Nickelodeon Consumer Products

MOSCOW/LONDON, 20 OCTOBER 2011: Nickelodeon Consumer Products, a division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), announced today at Brand Licensing Europe that they have signed an agreement that will see Russian multi-media production, licensing, event and publishing organisation, Riki Group, exclusively represent Nickelodeon Consumer Products in the Russia and CIS market. The agreement is effective immediately and marks a move from a traditional licensing agreement to master licensee representation for VIMN in Russia.

As part of a wider, long term and strategic partnership between the two companies, the appointment follows the recent acquisition of channel distribution, digital media and programme sales rights for Kikoriki, the hugely successful animated property known in Russia as Smeshariki, across Central and Eastern Europe (excluding Russia), the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region (excluding Greater China). Kikoriki recently became part of the VIMN programme sales portfolio at MIPCOM. The partnership between VIMN and Riki Group also encompass international programme sales and channel programming businesses in the RCIS market.

“We’re thrilled to announce our new master licensing partnership with Riki Group for our Nickelodeon and MTV adult brand properties in the Russia and CIS market,” said Michael Connolly, Senior Vice President, Consumer Products, VIMN. “This is a further step in our already strong partnership and opens the door to further possibilities for collaboration across our businesses. Our RCIS business has expanded dramatically in 2011 and we are pleased to bring Russian fans even more opportunities to connect with SpongeBob, Dora and all of their favourite Nickelodeon characters.”

“We are excited to be working with VIMN and look forward to applying everything we have learned while growing our Kikoriki brand to the globally recognised Nickelodeon brand and the tremendous slate of Nickelodeon and MTV properties we will be managing. The Riki Group’s expertise in the Russian marketplace, together with VIMN’s vast global experience, will make for an extremely successful partnership in the licensing arena,” said Ilya Popov, CEO and Executive Producer, The Riki Group.

Riki Group will broker licensing deals for all VIMN programmes in RCIS, including Nickelodeon properties SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, iCarly and Avatar, as well as the MTV logo and adult brands, including South Park, Beavis and Butthead and Jackass. Products currently available in the market include plush toys, accessories, apparel and stationery, and many new deals are currently being finalised for new products in the region.

Prior to the commencement of their partnership with Riki Group, VIMN’s properties were represented in RCIS by Plus Licens. Plus Licens will continue to grow and build Nickelodeon’s consumer products business as their representative agent in territories across other CEE and Nordic markets.

VIMN’s 24 hour Russian language Nickelodeon service, which won the award for Best Kids TV Channel (Foreign TV category) at last month’s CSTB conference in Russia, is currently available through a number of major cable, satellite and IPTV operators including NTV Plus, Raduga TV, Er Telecom, Akado, Rostelecom, Beeline and others. Nickelodeon fans in Russia can also interact with their favourite brand off-air through a dedicated localised Nickelodeon website (www.nickelodeon.ru).

About Viacom International Media Networks (formerly MTV Networks International): Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, non-premium Paramount Pictures branded channels, VH1, VIVA, MTVHD, TMF (The Music Factory), COLORS, Game One and Tr3s: MTV, Musicá y Mas,a channel for US Hispanic audiences. Viacom brands are seen globally in more than 600 million households in 160 territories and 34 languages via 166 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties.

About VIMN’s Emerging Markets GroupVIMN’s Emerging Markets Group is one of the fastest growing regions in the company’s portfolio of multi-platform businesses. The Emerging Markets Group manages 32 television channels, 30 websites, one video portal and four mobile TV channels encompassing the MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, VIVA and Comedy Central and COLORS brands in Central & Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and India. Additionally, the Emerging Markets portfolio includes MTV Live HD, VIMN’s first international high definition channel dedicated to music and kids which is operated by the Emerging Markets Group of behalf of VIMN. VIMN is a unit of Viacom Inc (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

About Riki GroupRiki Group Russia specializes in multimedia projects and the effective management of media brands. Riki has the facilities and expertise to take a media project from start to finish, from brand creation to brand management, development, and commercialization. This integrated structure results in efficient collaboration with a minimum of outlay, simplifying project coordination and leading to a marked reduction in the time needed to bring new content and new projects to fruition.

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