Viacom International Media Networks Europe
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Europe, Middle East and Africa|
|Parent||Viacom (pending re-merger with CBS Corporation)|
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN Europe) is a subsidiary of Viacom. The unit was launched as MTV Networks Europe in 1987. Today, VIMN Europe consists of the brands Viacom International Media Networks UK, Northern & Eastern Europe and Viacom International Networks Southern & Western Europe, Middle-East and Africa.
MTV in Europe
On 1 August 1987, Viacom formed a joint venture with BT and Robert Maxwell, and created the first MTV channel in Europe. The channel was based in Amsterdam upon launch before relocating to London. From 1997, MTV Networks Europe established its regionalisation strategy launching localised channels across many European countries/regions.
This is a list of regional MTV channels still operating in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia, in order of launch:
- MTV Germany (March 1997)
- MTV UK (July 1997)
- MTV Italy (September 1997)
- MTV Russia (September 1998)
- MTV France (June 2000)
- MTV Poland (July 2000)
- MTV Netherlands (September 2000)
- MTV Spain (September 2000)
- MTV Romania (June 2002; closes February 2019)
- MTV Portugal (July 2003)
- MTV Flanders (February 2004)
- MTV Ireland (February 2004)
- MTV Denmark (May 2005)
- MTV Finland, MTV Sweden, MTV Norway (September 2005)
- MTV Hungary (October 2007)
- MTV Israel (October 2007)
- MTV Live HD (September 2008)
- MTV Switzerland (April 2009)
- MTV South Africa (2015)
Upon its launch in Europe in the late 1980s, MTV Europe made use of MTV US's on-air identity. Overtime, MTV Europe gradually produced its own on-air identity throughout the 1990s. From 1997, MTV's regionalization throughout Europe brought about specialized on-air identity which reflected the tastes and influences from each region. As part of a global rebranding strategy, MTV Networks International decided to produce a new on-air identity that would air on all MTV channels around the world (except MTV US, MTV Canada and MTV Brazil). On 1 July 2009 all 64 MTV channels globally began to share the same on-air branding. This branding made use of a standardised logo, idents and promos (except MTV US, MTV Canada and MTV Brazil). The on-air branding initiative was called Pop X1000 reflecting the changing nature of popular culture with MTV at the heart of these rapid changes. The branding was designed by MTV's design department World Design Studio in Milan (home to both Fininvest and Mediaset), with additional designs added by other global departments throughout the year. The branding was overseen by Universal Everything. This branding was adopted by MTV Networks Europe, MTV Networks Asia, MTV Networks Africa and MTV Networks Latin America. As part of MTV's rebrand awareness campaign MTV teamed up with Spanish retailer ZARA in December 2009 to provide branded themed T-shirts and hoodies representing the "Pop X 1000%" campaign. On 8 November 2010 MTV launched its third phase of idents.
In 2010, MTV US rebranded its entire network of channels producing a revised version of the traditional MTV logo. It was decided that MTV Networks International channels would adopt this logo at a later date. On 1 July 2011 MTV Networks Europe will rebrand its network across Europe and globally. MTV's will replace its traditional logo the MTV:Music Television logo to be replaced by the current MTV US logo. On 30 June 2011 MTV's localized websites throughout Europe began to use the new branding. As part of a new strategy MTV Networks Europe will be part of Viacom Media International Networks. It is expected that MTV Networks Europe will be rebranded in the winter of 2011.
In the fall of 2013, Viacom International Media Networks announced it would relaunch its MTV channels globally with a new on-air identity. This came into effect on 1 October 2013.
On 25 June 2015, MTV International channels were rebranded with a new initiative to get more viewers involved with the channel. MTV launched MTVBump.com where viewers could upload short video clips which will air on MTV channels worldwide (excluding MTV US and MTV Canada). MTV also launched MTV Art Breaks where creative viewers can create special MTV idents. MTV would also launch MTV Creative, another initiative to coincide with MTV Bump. However, MTV's rebrand still saw falling ratings.
In early 2018, MTV Global began to roll out 'MTV Mood' identity on-air and online. The new look was first used by local MTV channels across Latin America. MTV Europe began using the new look at the end of 2017 along with MTV Germany, before rolling out across Europe in January/February 2018.
Since January 2010, MTV Networks Europe has started to rebrand its localized websites featuring a standard website for each region. The website design is similar for each region but has information, news and entertainment specific to each region. MTV Belgium, MTV Netherlands, MTV Switzerland, MTV Portugal, MTV Sweden and MTV Denmark were the first to receive the new look website layout and design.
A new design and layout were released in late 2017 before rolling out across MTV globally in 2018. A new global design was launched in October 2019.
Viacom International Media Networks Europe main headquarters are located in New York, United States, London, United Kingdom and Warsaw, Poland. In the past, most of the MTV channels throughout Europe are licensed through the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom. This is not unusual within Europe, many broadcasters may locate their productions and output departments in one country but receive their broadcasting licence from another European country. For example, MTV Networks Europe in Warsaw often produces programming for much of Europe, while MTV Networks Europe in London operates the broadcasting and licensing issues for this programming. As of 2010, MTV Networks Europe now receive their broadcasting licences from broadcasting authorities in the Czech Republic (RRTV). All pan-European channels and channels broadcasting in the Czech Republic and Poland are licensed by RRTV. As of late 2017, VIMN Europe has moved licensing from the Czech Republic and Poland to the Netherlands.
VIMN local offices
VIMN Europe, Middle East, and Africa have multiple offices across these regions including London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome, Lisbon, Paris, Madrid, Warsaw, Prague, Johannesburg and Sydney .
Structural changes at VIMN
On 4 November 2010 MTV Networks International offices in Amsterdam confirmed that from 1 January 2011 that TMF in the Netherlands broadcasting hours would be reduced until 15:00 each day. From 4 April 2011 TMF was gradually replaced by Kindernet and where the channel was only available online from the former TMF.nl website. On 1 September 2011 TMF in the Netherlands ceased broadcasting. TMF Nederland was the original channel before launching local channels in Belgium, UK and Australia. These local channels have been replaced with different channels. TMF's digital channels in the Netherlands TMF Live and TMF NL also ceased broadcasting. TMF Flanders in Belgium currently broadcasts as the only TMF channel.
On 16 September 2011 it was confirmed by Viacom International Media Networks its operations in the Nordic countries, Benelux region and Germany would operate under Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe. VIMN Northern Europe operates from its central offices in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Berlin. Resulting in job losses at its offices from MTV Networks Benelux in Belgium and the Netherlands. The re-alignment will see all music programming come from its operations in Stockholm. Its Swedish offices operate local channels such as MTV and VH1 within VIMN Northern European's portfolio of music channels. All kids and family programming operates from Berlin these include localized versions of Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Kindernet. Whilst all the localized Comedy Central channels will be operated from Amsterdam. VIMN North European's portfolio includes the following territories: Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. MTV's Amsterdam offices will remain open and will act as the technical play-out hub for the channels.
In December 2012, both Viacom International Media Networks and ProfMedia announced the closure of MTV Russia. Prof Media who purchased MTV Russia from VIMN in 2007, claimed the MTV brand is no-longer relevant in the territory and will be replaced by a more youth orientated general entertainment brand called 'Friday' on 1 June 2013. MTV Russia is one of the most widely distributed channels in the Russian Federation and was previously rated the most watched channel in the territory. Today, the channel has been relegated to the Top 20 channels in Russia. VIMN stated its commitment to the region stating its other MTV channels and brands such as VH1, Nickelodeon and the newly localized Comedy Central will continue to broadcast across Russia on cable and digital television providers. It has also been stated in some reports that MTV as a brand is in crisis in other Eastern European territories with falling ratings for MTV Poland and other local MTV channels in Central Eastern Europe. This is an ongoing trend for MTV globally. It was reported in the fall of 2012 that MTV US and its other channels had seen a fall in revenue and audience figures. There is competition from on-demand music websites, and MTV's transformation from music oriented television to youth oriented reality and scripted reality shows has failed to ignite the brand. On 31 May 2013 MTV Ukraine ceased broadcasting due to falling ratings.
On 3 July 2013 Viacom International Media Networks launched a localized version of MTV Base in South Africa. MTV South-Africa is an opt-out feed of the same channel with selected unique programming targeting South Africa. On 5 July 2013 VIMN announced it has purchased 51% of MTV Italy the channel was previously a joint-venture largely owned by Telecom Italia Media and VIMN. The ownership conditions have changed which means VIMN holds a larger share of the channel. On 12 September 2013 VIMN Europe announced it has gained 100% ownership of MTV Italia and associated channels from Telecom Italia.
Following the merger of MTV Networks New Zealand and MTV Networks Australia operations into one network based in Sydney in 2010, MTV (Australia & New Zealand) and its sister brand Comedy Central (New Zealand only) were placed under VIMN's - Viacom International Media Networks UK, Ireland, Australia, Central Eastern Europe and International Content Distribution. On 11 October 2013, VIMN's Sydney operations announced it would downsize. From year end all broadcasting is to be relocated to VIMN in London. VIMN's Sydney advertising department and Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand will not be affected by this move.
From January 2014, MTV Czech Republic & Slovakia will came under full ownership of VIMN Europe. Following a decision by the current operator CME to hand back the licence to VIMN. The channel was replaced by MTV Europe January 2014, with the possibility of the channel relaunching. Similarly, MTV Hungary ceased broadcasting on 31 December 2013. In early 2014, Czech TV regular (RRTV is the licence holder for MTV channels in Eastern Europe) issued MTV Hungary a new licence but this was handed back on 8 January 2014. On August 1, 2015 in Italy MTV Italia (DTT-free to air station) was sold to Sky Italia. In 2013 Viacom took full control of the channel after Telecom Italia Media sold its 51% share. At the same time Viacom launched on the platform of Sky, the new channel MTV Next. Viacom continues to broadcast in Italy through DTT the free-channel MTV Music (Italia) and remains active with Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. through the platform of Sky Italia. MTV Classic Italia and MTV Hits Italia have been closed down on 1 August.
On 17 November 2015 the French versions of MTV Base, MTV Pulse and MTV Idol are closed and a French versions of MTV Hits and BET are launched. The European version of MTV Hits ceased broadcasting in France, Belgium and Switzerland and MTV Rocks ceased broadcasting in Switzerland and CanalSat. On Numericable, VH1 and VH1 Classic returns and MTV Dance is launched.
On 10 January 2016 VIMN shutdown its Greek MTV channel due to a turndown in advertising and competition from MAD TV, the channel was replaced by MTV Europe. VIMN Europe confirmed its closure on January 6, 2016. This does not affect the Greek Nickelodeon service.
In the fall of 2017, VIMN closed plans to close VIVA channels in Hungary, Poland, Ireland and the UK. VIMN Germany, Austria and Switzerland confirmed it would reduce the broadcasting hours of the German-speaking VIVA replacing it with an extended version of Comedy Central Germany. By the spring of 2018, VIMN Germany confirmed it would close VIVA in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in January 2019, replacing it with a 24 hour Comedy Central Germany. meanwhile in the UK Nickelodeon, Nick Jr Too and Nicktoons will go 24/7 in 1st January 2019 the same day as the closure of VIVA.
MTV Romania shuts down in late February 2019, replaced by MTV Europe.
VIMN have many key brands which are available across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Some brands are specific to different territories.
- MTV Music (branded as MTV Music 24 in some territories)
- MTV Dance
- MTV Hits
- MTV Rocks
- MTV Classic
- MTV Base
- MTV Live
- MTV International
- Comedy Central
- Comedy Central Extra
- Nick Jr
- Paramount Network
Specific to regions:
- BET (France, UK, Ireland)
- Nicktoons (Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, UK, Africa, Middle-East)
- MTV Brand New (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
- Channel 5 (UK)
- Nickelodeon4Teen (France, Belgium, Luxembourg)
- TeenNick (Italy)
- J-One (France, Belgium, Luxembourg)
- Game One (France, Belgium, Luxembourg)
- Nick Music (Benelux)
- Porto Canal (Portugal, Angola, Mozambique)
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