Paramount Media Networks

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Paramount Media Networks, Inc.
Formerly
List
    • Warner Cable Communications (1977–1979)
    • Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (1979–1984)
    • MTV Networks, Inc.(1984–2011)
    • Viacom Media Networks, Inc. (2011–2019)
    • ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, Inc. (2019–2022)
TypeDivision
IndustryEntertainment, cable and satellite television
Founded
  • December 1, 1977; 44 years ago (1977-12-01)
FounderRobert Pittman
Headquarters1515 Broadway, ,
Key people
Brands
Owner
Parent
DivisionsParamount International Networks
Subsidiaries

Paramount Media Networks[1] (formerly known as Warner Cable Communications, Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, MTV Networks, Viacom Media Networks, and ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks) is an American mass media division of Paramount Global that oversees the operations of many of its television channels and online brands. Its related international division is Paramount International Networks.

History[edit]

1st MTV Networks logo.
2nd MTV Networks logo.
3rd MTV Networks logo.
Viacom Media Networks logo.
ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks logo (2019–2020).
ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks logo (2020–2022).

Warner Communications joint (1977–1984)[edit]

Warner Cable Communications was founded on December 1, 1977 by Warner Cable, itself a division of Warner Communications (later Warner Bros. Discovery following the Discovery/WarnerMedia merger), to launch QUBE, an interactive cable television network. Seeing the potential in the creation of new cable networks, Warner Cable divested QUBE's biggest brands, Star Channel, Pinwheel and Sight on Sound, into nationwide outlets. Star Channel began by satellite in January 1979 and was renamed The Movie Channel by the end of the year. The original Channel C-3, by then known as Pinwheel, became Nickelodeon in April 1979. As a result of these actions, Warner Cable Communications would then be rebranded as Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, becoming a joint venture between Warner Cable and American Express.

In 1980, Warner-Amex formed a joint venture with Cablevision's Rainbow Media division to launch Bravo, a cable network dedicated to arts and films, on December 1, 1980. Full control of the channel, however, was sold to Rainbow Media in 1984; NBC would acquire Bravo in 2003, and the channel is now currently owned by Comcast's NBCUniversal.

On August 1, 1981, Sight on Sound was relaunched as MTV.

In 1983, concerned by the strategic and financial failure of its pay-TV venture The Movie Channel (started to reap the benefits Time Inc. was having with HBO and Cinemax), WASEC established a joint venture with Viacom, merging TMC with their premium movie network Showtime to form Showtime/The Movie Channel, Inc.; WASEC, however, had no operational involvement in the joint venture.

Warner Cable Ended and Viacom full ownership (1984–2011)[edit]

On June 25, 1984, Warner Communications made the decision to divest Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH-1 (launched in 1985; Warner acquired it from Turner) into a new public corporation called MTV Networks.[2][3] A year later, Warner would acquire the 50% stake from American Express.[4]

On August 27, 1985, Warner sold 31% of MTV Networks to Viacom, with Warner also selling 19% of its Showtime/The Movie Channel, Inc. joint to Viacom as well.[5][6]

In November 1985, Viacom bought the remaining 69% of MTV Networks from Warner for $326 million,[7] The acquisition was completed on May 20, 1986,[8] causing Viacom to instantly become a mass media company rather than simply a distributor.[note 1]

In 2003, MTV Networks assumed full ownership of Comedy Central from AOL Time Warner.

In January 2006, the remnants of MTV Networks and Showtime Networks were separated following Viacom's split into two entities: CBS Corporation, which retained CBS, UPN, Simon & Schuster and Showtime Networks (Showtime, The Movie Channel, and Flix), and a spun-off company under the Viacom name, which took ownership of Paramount Pictures, BET Networks and MTV Networks (Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and VH1). MTV Networks was renamed Viacom Media Networks in 2011.

Expansion of Networks (2011–2019)[edit]

In the fall of 2012, media analysts began to report that ratings among some of Viacom's leading brands in the U.S were experiencing declines in viewership.[14][15] MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon were of most concern to investors as the three account for roughly 50% of Viacom's operating profit, estimated David Bank of RBC Capital Markets.

In 2017, Viacom announced a five-point restructuring plan, in which the company would pour most of its resources behind six "flagship brands". These were MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., BET, and Paramount Pictures.[16][17][18][19] In February 2017, cable channels CMT and TV Land were moved from the Kids and Family Group to the Global Entertainment Group under Kevin Kay, joining up with Spike TV.[20] During the same month, it was announced that Spike would be relaunched as Paramount Network in 2018, aligning with the namesake film studio and being positioned as Viacom's main general entertainment outlet.[21][22]

In October 2018, Kevin Kay was announced to be leaving his position as head of the Entertainment Group. CMT was transferred from the Entertainment Group to the Music Group under president Chris McCarthy, with his exit. Executive Kent Alterman would take charge of Paramount Network and TV Land to go with his current leadership of Comedy Central and Bellator MMA.[23]

In 2019, after acquiring the free streaming service Pluto TV, Viacom would launch several channels on the service branded after its Media Networks and company–owned IP.[24][25][26][27]

Reintroduction and Re-merge with CBS (2019–present)[edit]

In August 2019, Viacom announced that it would merge with CBS Corporation, reuniting the two entities under the new name ViacomCBS.[28][29] The merger closed in early December 2019.[30][31] Announced on November 11, 2019, as part of the re–merger, the Media Networks division was renamed ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, and reorganized. MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo were reorganized into the "Entertainment & Youth Group",[32] with the addition of Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, and TV Land. BET Networks was merged with Showtime Networks under CEO David Nevins, who also temporarily gained oversight of Pop TV (formerly co-owned with Lionsgate);[33] Pop TV was transferred to the Entertainment & Youth Group on January 15, 2020.[34] On February 16, 2022, ViacomCBS was renamed as Paramount Global, and ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks was renamed Paramount Media Networks.[35]

Channels list[edit]

Current channels[edit]

Category Name Notes Launch
MTV Entertainment Group
CMT Networks CMT 5 March 5, 1983
CMT Music 6 August 1, 1998
MTV Networks MTV 1 August 1, 1981
MTV2 August 1, 1996
MTV Classic 19 August 1, 1998
MTV Live 20 January 16, 2006
MTV Tres August 1, 1998
MTVU 22 January 20, 2004
Entertainment & Youth Group Comedy Central 2 June 1, 1991
Logo TV 4 June 30, 2005
Paramount Network 3, 5 March 7, 1983
Pop 15 1981
Smithsonian Channel 13 September 26, 2007
TV Land 14 April 29, 1996
VH1 21 January 1, 1985
Kids & Family Entertainment
Nickelodeon Networks Nickelodeon 7 April 1, 1979
Nick Jr. 8 September 28, 2009
Nick at Nite July 1, 1985
NickMusic 9 May 1, 2002
Nicktoons 10
TeenNick 11 September 28, 2009
Premium Network Group
BET Networks BET July 1, 1983
BET Gospel July 1, 2002
BET Her January 15, 1996
BET Hip–Hop July 1, 2005
BET Jams May 1, 2002
BET Soul August 1, 1998
Showtime Networks Showtime
  • Showtime 2
  • Showcase
  • SHO×BET17
  • Showtime Extreme
  • Showtime Family Zone
  • Showtime Next
  • Showtime Women
12 May 9, 1976 (Showtime)
October 1, 1991 (Showtime 2)
September 1999 (SHO×BET)


1996 (Showcase)
March 10, 1998 (Showtime Extreme)
March 2001 (Showtime Family Zone, Next and Women)

The Movie Channel
  • The Movie Channel Xtra
18 December 1, 1979

October 1, 1997

Flix 16 August 1, 1992

Former channels and blocks[edit]

  • Bravo (sold to Rainbow Media in 1984; later purchased by General Electric's NBC Entertainment division in 2003, and NBCUniversal a year after)
  • C-3 (officially launched as Nickelodeon, in 1988, the "Pinwheel" block replaced with the "Nick Jr." block)
  • Sight on Sound (officially launched as MTV in 1981)
  • Nick GAS ((1999–2007), 2009 (on Dish Network)); replaced by the 24-hour The N on cable, DirecTV and more with Turner's Cartoon Network (West feed) on Dish Network)
  • VH1 Uno (2000–2008); became MTVU, focusing on music videos aimed at college-aged students.
  • NickMom (2012–2015), late-night block, focusing on mothers.
  • Noggin (TV Channel) (1999–2009); became Nick Jr. (TV Channel) which lead to a subscription based app to be launched in March 2015 based off the channel.
  • TEENick (Nickelodeon block) (2001–2009)); merged brand with "The N" to form TeenNick
  • The N (Noggin block) (2002–2007) channel (2007-2009) became TeenNick
  • NickRewind (2011–2022), classic-oriented, late-night block on TeenNick
  • SNICK (1992–2005)
  • Nick on CBS/Nick Jr. on CBS (2000–2006)
  • Showtime Beyond (1999–2020), became SHO×BET focusing on African-American actors in film.
  • MTVX, became MTV Jams in 2002, focusing on hip-hop music, rebranding under the BET banner on October 2015.
  • VH1 MegaHits, became Logo TV in 2005, focusing on cultural gay themes.

Notes[edit]

1Channel was originally launched under Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment and tested as Sight on Sound until 1981, when it officially launched as MTV.

2Channel started as Ha!, merged with HBO's The Comedy Channel the following year, became entirely owned by Viacom in 2003.

3Originally TNN from 1983 to 2003 (as The Nashville Network until 1997; as The National Network until 2003) and as Spike until January 2018.

4Channel was originally known as VH1 MegaHits before being discontinued in July 2005 to facilitate Logo launch.

5Channel was previously owned by Gaylord Entertainment Company, acquired in 1997 by the CBS Cable division of CBS Corporation, and became part of MTV Networks when CBS merged with Viacom.

6Channel created as VH1 Country before Viacom/CBS merger.

7Channel was originally launched under Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment and tested as Pinwheel until 1979, then was officially launched as Nickelodeon.

8Channel was originally known as Noggin before being rebranded as Nick Jr. in 2009. Co-owned with Sesame Workshop from 1999 to 2002.

9Channel was originally known as MTV Hits before being rebranded as NickMusic on September 9, 2016.

10Channel was originally known as Nicktoons TV until 2003 when it was rebranded as Nicktoons which was rebranded again as Nicktoons Network in 2005 and finally rebranded yet again as Nicktoons (styled as “nicktoons”) once more in 2009.

11Channel was originally known as The N before being rebranded as TeenNick in 2009. The slot originally belonged to Nickelodeon Games and Sports for Kids from 1999 to 2007 (Dish Network in 2009, replaced with Turner's Cartoon Network West).

12Channel originally owned by the first incarnation of Viacom, and earlier with former partner Warner-Amex, and later became part of CBS Corporation following Viacom's split in 2006. Showtime was established in 1976, and The Movie Channel was established in 1973 as Star Channel and relaunched under its current name in 1979.

13Channel was originally co-owned by CBS Corporation through Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution until November 7, 2019, when the Institution sold its equity interest to Showtime.[36]

14Channel was originally a block on Nick at Nite.

15Previously owned by CBS Corporation, and before 2019, half of the share was owned by Lionsgate. Formerly known as TVGN, TV Guide Network, and TV Guide Channel.

16Established by Viacom's Showtime Networks in 1992 and later became part of CBS Corporation following Viacom's split in 2006.

17Channel was formerly Showtime Beyond from 1999 and was discontinued on July 15, 2020.

18Channel was originally known as "Star Channel" until it was bought by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment before becoming "The Movie Channel" in 1979.

19Channel was originally known as VH1 Smooth before being relaunched as VH1 Classic Rock on August 1, 1999. The channel was renamed VH1 Classic in 2000 and was later rebranded as MTV Classic on August 1, 2016.

20Channel was originally known as Music: High Definition (MHD) before being rebranded as Palladia on September 1, 2008. On February 1, 2016, the channel was rebranded as MTV Live.

21Channel was originally a division of Warner Communications and the original owner of MTV, and launched on January 1, 1985, in the former space of Turner's short-lived Cable Music Channel.

22Channel slot was originally VH1 Uno, until MTV Networks on Campus replaced VH1 Uno with a televised simulcast of MTVU. The college campus feed of MTVU no longer exists but the public feed is still on a limited amount of MSOs.

Other properties[edit]

Internet[edit]

Through its Networks division, Paramount also owns internet properties, such as MTV News and AwesomenessTV. The company ran a virtual world system, Virtual MTV, in the late 2000s.[37]

The company has owned various other internet properties including virtual pets website Neopets; Flash game websites AddictingGames.com and Shockwave.com; online content production company Atom Entertainment; along with RateMyProfessors.com, GameTrailers, and iFilm, all of which have been shut down or sold off during 2000s and 2010s.

New York headquarters

During the first quarter of 2008, iFilm was merged into Spike with its website re–branded and re–purposed as Spike.com.[38]

In 2014, Viacom purchased a stake in multi-channel network Defy Media, while offloading GameTrailers, Addicting Games, and Shockwave to Defy.[39]

Gaming[edit]

In 2006, Viacom acquired Harmonix, a video game studio oriented towards music video games and the original developer of the Guitar Hero franchise, for $175 million.[40] The two subsequently collaborated on the creation of Rock Band.[41] That year, Viacom also acquired the gaming–oriented communications platform Xfire.[42]

In 2010, Harmonix was divested to an investment firm to become an independent studio,[43][44] and Xfire was sold.[45]

In 2011, Viacom established a short–lived, in–house development studio known as 345 Games, which was dedicated primarily to developing games based on Comedy Central, MTV and Spike properties.[46]

Units[edit]

Paramount International Networks[edit]

Paramount International Networks is the sibling division of Paramount Media Networks. Its headquarters are in New York, London, Warsaw, and Buenos Aires, and manages the following brands: MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, Channel 5, Network 10, Telefe, Chilevisión, TeleColombia and Colors.

The division is split into three regional units:

Former brands include TMF and VIVA which, along with digital properties Nitrome Limited, Shockwave, Addicting Games, Atom Films and Xfire, have either since merged with other networks, were shut down, or were sold off.

MTV Entertainment Group[edit]

MTV Entertainment Group
TypeSubsidiary
Founded1996; 26 years ago (1996)
Key people
Christ McCarthy (President, CEO)
Brands
OwnerParamount Global
ParentParamount Media Networks
SubsidiariesMTV Entertainment Studios

[48]MTV Entertainment Group is a subsidiary of Paramount Media Networks and serves as the holdings company for MTV, Pop TV, CMT, Paramount Network, VH1, Comedy Central, TV Land, Logo TV, Smithsonian Channel, and its Studios.

[52]In 2022, MTV Entertainment Group partnered up with Second Chance Studios to launch Media careers.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The buyout of MTV Networks by Viacom would initially end Warner's first venture into cable television until returning in 1990, when it brought in HBO and Cinemax as part of its merger with Time Inc.[9] Time Warner, as the company was now known as, would later purchase the Turner Broadcasting System on October 10, 1996,[10] bringing in more cable networks such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and CNN. Time Warner would retain Time Warner Cable until spinning off that division into a separate company in 2009;[11] that unit would eventually become part of Spectrum, a brand of Charter Communications which was launched in 2014. Time Warner was later acquired by AT&T in 2018[12] and then took on the "WarnerMedia" name. WarnerMedia would, however, spin itself off from AT&T on March 28, 2022 and later merge with Discovery, Inc. to form Warner Bros. Discovery; the move, which added The Discovery Channel, TLC, The Travel Channel and Food Network among others to the portfolio, was officially completed on April 8, 2022.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paramount+ Orders More '1883' and Another 'Yellowstone' Prequel". The Hollywood Reporter. February 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Warner takes MTV, Nickelodeon public" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. June 25, 1984. Retrieved January 12, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  3. ^ "BUSINESS PEOPLE ; A Chief Is Named By MTV Networks". The New York Times. July 19, 1985. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  4. ^ "Warner to buy out American Express; MTV to go private (page 29)" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. August 12, 1985. Retrieved January 13, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  5. ^ "Viacom to Buy Warner Stake In Cable Units". The Washington Post. August 27, 1985.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Viacom gets its MTV (page 50)" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. September 2, 1985. Retrieved January 13, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  7. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (September 17, 1986). "VIACOM CHIEF LEADS GROUP'S BUYOUT BID (Published 1986)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 23, 2021. In November 1985, Viacom acquired MTV Networks for $326 million in cash and warrants. One-third of MTV was publicly owned; the rest was owned by Warner Communications and the American Express Company. At the same time, Viacom bought 50 percent of Showtime, the pay television service, that it did not already own for $184 million.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Viacom has bought MTV and Showtime/TMC" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. May 20, 1986. Retrieved January 24, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  9. ^ "URGENT Delaware Court Rules In Favor Of Time-Warner Merger". AP NEWS. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  10. ^ "Time-TBS merger closed – Oct. 10, 1996". CNNMoney. CNN. October 10, 1996. Archived from the original on September 28, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
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  12. ^ "AT&T Completes Acquisition of Time Warner Inc". AT&T. June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Maas, Jennifer (April 8, 2022). "Discovery Closes Acquisition of AT&T's WarnerMedia". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 8, 2022. Discovery completed its $43 billion acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T on Friday to form new company Warner Bros. Discovery.
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  24. ^ "Viacom Acquires Free Streaming Platform Pluto TV for $340 Million". The Hollywood Reporter. January 22, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "Viacom Announces Completion of Pluto TV Acquisition". www.businesswire.com. March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
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  33. ^ Viacom and CBS Announce Content and Digital Leadership
  34. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (January 15, 2020). "ViacomCBS Shuffles Oversight of Pop TV, Bellator MMA Amid Post-Merger Restructuring (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  35. ^ Petski, Denise (April 29, 2022). "Michael Fabiani Upped To SVP Communications, Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios". Deadline. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  36. ^ "Smithsonian sells its stake in... the Smithsonian Channel". www.bizjournals.com. November 8, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  37. ^ "Virtual MTV Launches Alpha of Browser-Based Experience". Engage Digital. February 5, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  38. ^ Andrew Hampp (September 11, 2007). "Once Considered a YouTube Rival, MTV Does Away With IFilm.com". AdAge. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  39. ^ Kafka, Peter (June 9, 2014). "Viacom Makes a Web Video Bet, and Grabs a Piece of Defy Media". Recode. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  40. ^ "MTV acquires Harmonix for USD $175 million". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  41. ^ Kohler, Chris (September 14, 2007). "A Glimpse Into Harmonix's Punk-Rock Design Process". Wired. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
  42. ^ "Viacom to acquire Xfire". GameSpot. April 24, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  43. ^ Halliday, Josh (December 24, 2010). "Viacom sells Rock Band game studio". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  44. ^ Marie, Meagan (December 23, 2010). "Viacom Sells Harmonix To Columbus Nova". Game Informer. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  45. ^ Wauters, Robin. "Exclusive: Titan Gaming Takes Xfire Off Viacom's Hands". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
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  47. ^ "MTV Latin America Confirms Rock Band Thirty Seconds to Mars to Perform at MTV World Stage Mexico" (Press release). Mexico: Prnewswire.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  48. ^ Studios, MTV Entertainment. "MTV Entertainment Studios unveils expansive lineup of 90+ new and returning series across Paramount Media Networks and Paramount+, including MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Smithsonian Channel and Paramount Network". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  49. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 22, 2020). "Paramount Network Rebrands, Doubles Down on Movies and Minis (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  50. ^ White, Peter (January 24, 2022). "Paramount Movie Network Put On Ice As ViacomCBS Nixes Rebrand Plans For 'Yellowstone' Network". Deadline. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  51. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 16, 2020). "Sarah Babineau & Keith Cox Promoted To Top Creative Posts At ViacomCBS' Entertainment & Youth Unit, Jonas Larsen Exits". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  52. ^ Studios, Second Chance. "Second Chance Studios Graduates First Class of Formerly Incarcerated Fellows, Partnering with MTV Entertainment Group to Launch Media Careers". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved July 13, 2022.