MTV Classic (British and Irish TV channel)
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom, Ireland|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Picture format||16:9 576i SDTV|
|Owner||ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia|
|Launched||1 July 1999|
|Replaced||VH1 (Virgin Media UK)|
|Former names||VH1 Classic (1999–2010)|
|Virgin Media (Ireland)||Channel 707|
|TalkTalk TV||Channel 538|
|BT TV||Channel 538|
MTV Classic is a British pay television music channel from ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia. The channel was launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 1 July 1999 as VH1 Classic. It focuses on music videos and music specials from the 1960s onwards, sometimes featuring music videos and concert footage from as early as at least the 1940s or 1950s, such as Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" from 1942. It has also aired videos from the 2000s and early 2010s. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles, the first video to air on the original MTV in 1981, was also the first music video to be played when the channel was rebranded as MTV Classic on 1 March 2010. Every November and December on some dates of each year, MTV Classic will play Christmas-themed music branded as MTV Xmas. Since the rebrand, Viacom has rebranded other international channels as MTV Classic. On 1 May 2010, VH1 Australia was rebranded as MTV Classic and on 10 January 2011, MTV Networks Europe launched an Italian version of the same channel, replacing MTV Gold.
MTV Classic began broadcasting in widescreen on 6 March 2012.
Viacom occasionally rebrands MTV Classic to a different name to air different kinds of music.
- MTV Xmas: From 23 November to 27 December 2013, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Xmas, playing only Christmas-themed music. This has been repeated every year since. After 7 years since its first launch on Sky, MTV Xmas is now also available for the first time on Virgin Media UK starting 12 November 2020 as a replacement of VH1 Christmas.
- MTV Summer: From 1 August to 1 September 2014, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Summer, playing only summer-themed music. This has been repeated from 29 June to 3 August 2015, replacing MTV Pride.
- MTV Love: From 29 January to 16 February 2015, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Love, playing only love songs. This temporarily rebranded channel was used as a replacement for Viva until the rebrand to MTV OMG in March 2018.
- MTV Pride: From 27 to 29 June 2015, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Pride to coincide with Pride Weekend in celebration of diversity and equality which celebrated LGBT life by playing gay music icons from the likes of Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Cyndi Lauper, Donna Summer, Cher and Pink. This was replaced by MTV Summer on 29 June 2015 and was repeated again from 24 to 27 June 2016. MTV Pride was moved to MTV OMG from 2018 to 2020 and returned to MTV Classic from 6 to 13 September 2021.
- MTV 90s: From 27 May to 24 June 2016, the channel rebranded as MTV 90s playing 90s music videos and select Nickelodeon shows from the 90s like Clarissa Explains It All and Kenan & Kel (both of which now currently air on Trace Vault). The channel was permanently launched in Europe on 5 October 2020 replacing MTV Rocks.
- MTV 80s: From 28 February to 31 March 2020, the channel rebrand as MTV 80s playing 80s music videos similar to MTV 90s and the decade-themed Now channels. The channel was permanently launched in New Zealand on 6 July 2020 replacing the Australian version of MTV Classic and later in Europe on 5 October 2020 replacing VH1 Classic Europe.
MTV Classic was previously available on Virgin Media UK but it was removed from the platform on 28 August 2010, along with MTV +1 and MTV Shows, to make room for Comedy Central HD and returned on 7 January 2020, replacing VH1 which had closed that day.
MTV Classic's on-air identity is similar to MTV's international identity. MTV Classic utilises the new MTV logo along with specially commissioned idents by ICC. These idents are also used on other MTV Classic channels around the world including MTV Classic Australia, which launched in May 2010. On September 14, 2021 MTV Classic revealed a new on-air look and new logo part of MTV's 2021 global rebrand.
- "MTV Announce Channel Changes". Entertainment Focus. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011.
- Welsh, Daniel (18 November 2013). "MTV to launch dedicated Christmas channel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Three MTV channels leave Virgin Media". The Airwaves. 26 August 2010. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013.
- "Virgin Media Changelog page 83". Cable Forum. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- "ICC". Vimeo. Retrieved 27 June 2013.