Paramount Global Puts Majority Stake In Noggin Streaming Service On The Block

After decades of being the dominant player in linear cable networks, Viacom, now part of Paramount
Global, has put two cable networks up for sale in what is increasingly viewed as a dying industry. After announcing last month that it is selling a majority interest in BET Media Group (BET, VH1, etc.), possibly to Tyler Perry or Byron Allen, The Wall Street Journal reported today that Paramount is exploring the sale of a majority stake in Noggin, an online pre-school learning system that began as a linear channel. So digital assets are also on the company’s focus of divestitures.

Unlike most cable network’s digital platforms which primarily show content from the linear channel, the Noggin online service (which is free for 30 days and then goes to $7.99/month, 25% off if you prepay for a year) is a learning app for pre-school children and includes a number of popular shows produced by Nickelodeon.

Along with being able to watch content from Nickelodeon like Blues Clues & You!, PAW Patrol and Peppa Pig, there are over 1,000 books, educational games, original series and videos, all designed to help your child succeed in school and life with a fun interactive experience.

Noggin’s content was developed by the industry’s leading educational experts and much of it is interactive. This makes it more likely that one of the top tier education companies would be a potential buyer. Another potential bidder is Reliance Industries, Ltd., India’s largest company which has a $13.2 billion digital media portfolio. Reliance owns a 51% stake in Nick Jr.(which the digital version of Noggin was spun out of, with Paramount Global owning the remaining 49%.

Paramount has an ongoing relationship with the company via Viacom18 Media Private Limited, which is a Mumbai-based media company, a joint venture between Network18 Group—a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, and Paramount Global. It was formed in 2007 and owns a number of channels as well as a production studio in India.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Paramount Global wants to retain a minority stake in the assets as it sees an opportunity to develop Noggin more into an interactive learning platform.

Noggin caters to a very young demo of kids two to seven years old and started in 1999 as a joint venture between Nickelodeon and Sesame Street parent Sesame Workshop. Nickelodeon bought out Sesame Workshop’s 50% stake in August of 2002 for just
over $100 million (at the time it had just under 30 million subscribers) and in 2009 renamed Noggin Nick Jr.

It’s a relatively small operation for Paramount Global as it has very little advertising and survives mostly on license fees. In 2022, Nick Jr. had under $15 million in revenue and almost $7 million in cash flow
. By comparison, the mothership Nickelodeon generates over $1.5 billion a year in revenue and almost $600 million in cash flow, despite suffering from the negative impact of cord cutting and cord shaving that the entire industry is feeling the weight of


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