The channel was officially launched on 26 October 2009 by Alexandra Burke, with an exclusive live performance of her single "Bad Boys". The first music video to be shown on Viva was Alphabeat's "The Spell" in The Official UK Chart Show Top 20. It originally broadcast for 24 hours a day until Nick Jr. was removed from the schedule and its hours were reduced to 09:00 – 06:00. It was further reduced to 09:00 – 03:00 on 1 August 2011. The unused hours are now used for teleshopping.
On 19 September 2011 the channel started broadcasting in the 16:9 picture format but the DOG was still set to the 4:3 picture format and appeared stretched; this was later fixed so it appears within the 4:3 safe zone. As with other Viacom channels, most 4:3 content has been stretched to 14:9.
Viva dropped its free-to-view encryption on satellite on 19 March 2013, before launching on the free-to-air platform, Freesat, on 2 April 2013.
On 8 October 2014, following the Viacom takeover of UK broadcaster Channel 5, it was announced that Viva would be removed from Freeview with all of its entertainment content moving to 5*. Its EPG slot was used to launch Spike on 15 April 2015, with Viva moving to Freeview channel 74 and its broadcast hours changed to 09:00 to 11:00. The channel still broadcasts full time on all other platforms.
Noggin was an early morning children's television block from Nick Jr., that was broadcast on Viva from 06:00 - 09:00 daily. The programming block was first shown on TMF and was initially carried over to Viva. As of March 2010 the block has ended. The schedule in October 2009 included;