Southern Media Corp has asked Viacom chairman and chief executive Sumner Redstone to become a senior adviser at the mainland firm as part of efforts to enhance the relationship between the two companies. 'I was just invited by them during lunch today. I think I can bring in experience in the entertainment industry from the United States,' Mr Redstone said. The two companies had no plans at the moment, said Mr Redstone, but Viacom was open to future co-operation with state-owned Southern Media. The mainland's fourth-largest media group has content production and advertising sharing operations with Hong Kong's two leading broadcasters, Television Broadcasts and Asia Television. Meanwhile, Viacom said it planned to air CCTV-developed children's programming on its Nickelodeon channel in the US within six months. Viacom is also in talks to supply additional Nickelodeon programmes to CCTV's children's channel. CCTV already airs Nickelodeon's CatDog and Wild Thornberrys. The US media conglomerate's mainland ambitions extend beyond content deals. Viacom hopes to replicate in China its success in selling consumer products tied to television characters, a merchandising strategy that has earned the company millions of dollars in the US. 'We take a very, very long view in China,' Mr Redstone said. 'In the first two years, we are building relationships. We are profitable and now take the money to re-invest in China.' Viacom, the third-largest media company in the US, yesterday announced a strategic alliance with China's No3 media group, Beijing Television. The deal involves production of music and other entertainment content for domestic and foreign television channels. This follows the formation of a joint venture between Viacom and Shanghai Media Group. MTV Networks International president William Roedy said: 'We continue to stress our strategic partnerships in China.' MTV is one of Viacom's flagship channels. Viacom executives will visit Hunan province today, where the mainland's fifth-largest media company, Hunan Media Group, is based. Mr Roedy said there were no plans yet for further tie-ups 'but it wouldn't take much imagination to have additional partnerships'. 'We are very happy with our progress and the No1 great theme for us is patience, especially in China,' he said. Viacom has applied to Guangdong officials for landing rights for its Nickelodeon channel.