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Nickelodeon Returning to Germany

MIP-TV attendees, especially German broadcasters, were speculating on MTV Networks Europe (MTVNE) recent announcement that it will launch a Nickelodeon kids' channel and website in Germany Sept. 12, 2005, as part of the company's commitment to providing high quality, complementary programming on its four channels in the market. A new cross-brand advertising sales house, Viacom Brand Solutions, has been created to market the portfolio of channels.

Nick had a three-year run on German cable but pulled the plug due to intense competition from local kids channels, such as Super RTL (partly owned by Disney) and Kinderkanal in 1998.

Additional investments announced today include the launch of new programming on both VIVA and MTV in Germany.

"We are committed to offering a broad range of programming to German audiences through diverse, complementary channels," said Simon Guild, chief exec, MTV Networks Europe. "The launch of Nickelodeon as a dedicated channel created specifically for German kids is a significant development in the overall expansion of the brand across Europe. By launching Viacom Brand Solutions, we will offer clients unparalleled flexibility through customized, multi-platform sponsorship opportunities targeting kid, youth and adult audiences in Germany."

The locally managed and programmed channel will reach 28.6 million German households featuring hit animated series, such as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, DANNY PHANTOM, AVATAR AND JIMMY NEUTRON, DORA THE EXPLORER and BLUE'S CLUES.

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS is among the top 5 rated kids' shows in Germany through syndication, and BLUE'S CLUES has been #1 in its timeslot in Germany for the past three years. Super RTL will continue its rights to broadcast SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.

In the evening Nickelodeon will switch to series for a 14+ demo. Nickelodeon will replace the music channel MTV2 Pop in the market, broadcasting alongside MTVNE's other German channel offerings that include VIVA, VIVA PLUS and MTV.

The newly launched Viacom Brand Solutions sales house will market MTVNE's new German channel family. With successful launches in the U.K., Ireland and Spain, Viacom Brand Solutions (VBS) will plan and develop creative, as well as deliver airtime, sponsorships, promotions, events and digital media opportunities for clients.

"With Nickelodeon joining our portfolio of channels, MTV Networks Central offers viewers and clients distinct, specialized channels which are a more effective alternative to the existing offerings in the German television landscape," said Catherine Mühlemann, evp/md, MTV Networks Central & Emerging Markets.

VIVA will address viewers with mostly German artists, chart-oriented pop music and a quirky programming schedule. MTV will skew towards edgier programming mixed with international and trend setting music play lists. Seventeen new VIVA and MTV shows will premiere over the coming months.

VIVA PLUS will maintain its current position as an interactive channel, giving audiences the ability to program the network via phone and Internet.

MTV Networks International includes the premier multimedia entertainment brands MTV: Music Television, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF (The Music Factory), Paramount Comedy and Game One, seen in 416.9 million households in 164 countries and 18 languages via 102 locally programmed and operated TV channels and 90 Web sites. The company's diverse holdings also include interests in television syndication, digital media, publishing, home video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and two feature film divisions, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom International Inc.