VH1, Spike, CMT left out in cold amid Viacom’s new strategic vision

Viacom
Viacom will put its “full power” behind six flagship brands, and "realign" several other networks like VH1, Spike and TV Land.

Viacom today unveiled its new strategic vision moving forward, and it doesn’t necessarily bode well for VH1, CMT or Spike.

As part of today’s earnings announcement, Viacom revealed that it would put its “full power” behind six flagship brands: BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount.

Left out of the “flagship” group is VH1, Spike, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick, Channel 5 in the U.K., and Telefe in Argentina.

Sponsored by Google Cloud

Webinar: Remote Post Production In The Cloud

Video production companies across the world have traditionally been tethered to physical facilities, but with the advent of covid-19, remote post production capabilities are more important than ever. Join this webinar to learn more about how video producers can utilize Google Cloud infrastructure, along with partner applications, to develop a remote post production suite that brings your artists and editors together, no matter where they are.

“These six brands each have compelling, valuable and distinct brand propositions. They serve diverse, substantial audiences with largely-owned content, have global reach and distribution potential across linear, digital, film, and consumer products, events and experiences,” the company said in a statement. “Viacom's other brands—some of which hold strong positions in their categories and maintain diverse and loyal followings—will be realigned to reinforce the six flagship brands.”

During today's call, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish was careful to say the move was not a “light switch turning off a whole bunch of networks,” but more of a refocus of Viacom’s efforts on the most successful networks.

Most notably in terms of realignment will be Spike’s rebranding as The Paramount Network, which will take place in early 2018.

The Paramount Network plans to use Spike's programming and use other Viacom original scripted and non-scripted programming, and incorporate more original and third-party programming.

RELATED: Viacom’s Q1 revenue climbs but operating income falls

Bakish said The Paramount Network will benefit from increased production capital within the media networks segment.

“There [are] no contractual problems with the rebrand of Spike,” Bakish said, adding that the channel already includes a relatively high volume of films on its schedule.

Viacom today also announced plans to create a new dedicated short-form content unit to work on existing programming and new original intellectual property (IP).

For Paramount, Viacom intends for the studio to launch cobranded releases from each of the flagships. First up, Viacom announced a commitment between Nickelodeon and Paramount to produce four films, with the first of these films, "Amusement Park," scheduled for release in summer 2018 alongside a new TV series on Nickelodeon the following year.

Read more on

Suggested Articles

Sling this week announced a feature that integrates free, local over-the-air broadcast channels into the Sling TV guide on some 2020 LG smart TVs.

NBCUniversal’s entertainment business is getting new management and a new org chart that will further emphasize its shift toward streaming.

An executive order issued by President Trump late Thursday would ban business with ByteDance’s TikTok app 45 days after its issuance.