Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) sees great potential in its Latin America and international OTT and Studio business. As part of its continued global expansion efforts, the company today announced key leadership changes.
Pierluigi Gazzolo, President of VIMN Americas and EVP of Nickelodeon International, is being elevated to President of OTT International and Viacom International Studios (VIS) and Juan “JC” Acosta, currently EVP and COO of VIMN Americas, will be upped to President of VIMN Americas, effective January 3, 2020. Both executives will report to David Lynn, President & CEO of VIMN.
According to the company, this new structure will help accelerate the creation of original content across international markets and signals the increasing importance of VIMN’s OTT and Studio business.
In his new role, Gazzolo will initially focus on accelerating the rollout of Pluto TV across international markets, starting with a major launch across Latin America in early 2020. He’ll also be responsible for creating an integrated, Viacom International Studios operation, managing original content creation assets across ViacomCBS internationally.
As President of VIMN Americas, Gazzolo is credited for driving the growth of VIMN’s business in the region, overseeing the acquisition of Telefé and Porta dos Fundos which led to the launch of Viacom International Studios (VIS). That division’s revenues grew by 57% in 2019.
Gazzolo led the transformation of VIMN Americas by establishing its non-linear presence through innovative multiplatform products and services such as SVOD service Paramount + and Noggin.
This is how Gazzolo explains the company’s strong push for video-on-demand subscription services that can capitalize on Viacom’s content: “SVOD penetration rate is 26% in Mexico, the highest in the region, according to DATAXIS. There is a lot of room to grow in Latin America and we are always trying to evaluate the best strategies to leverage our content libraries, as well as our content deals. We see this as additional growth to our current distributions deals with our MVPDs partners.”
In April, Gazzolo also helped launch Pluto TV Latino, targeting the U.S. Hispanic market.
“Pier is a uniquely dynamic executive and has an unrivaled track record of growing revenues for the entire VIMN ecosystem. Pier’s vision and leadership in acquiring and integrating both Telefe and Porta dos Fundos for the Americas business was a step-change for Viacom in the region and enabled the creation of a studio business, not just for the Americas, but for all of Viacom International,” states Lynn.
With Gazzolo’s move to a much larger role, Acosta will be responsible for VIMN operations for Latin America, spanning Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, as well as Canada and the U.S. Hispanic market. He’ll be tasked with the expanding VIMN’s portfolio and products in the region, including its multiplatform business, global studio and content distribution and licensing efforts and TV channels (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, and Telefe, Argentina’s leading free-to-air broadcaster) and digital portfolio (including Porta Dos Fundos).