ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks
|Industry||Entertainment, cable and satellite television|
|Predecessor||Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment|
|Founded||July 19, 1984|
|Headquarters||One Astor Plaza,|
|Part of a series on|
MTV in the United States
|Programs on MTV|
|Censorship on MTV|
|Viacom Media Networks|
ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks (formerly known as MTV Networks and Viacom Media Networks) is an American mass media division of ViacomCBS that oversees the operations of many of its television channels and Internet brands. Its sister international division is ViacomCBS Networks International.
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The company was founded in 1984 after Warner Communications and American Express decided to divest the basic cable assets of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, renaming it as MTV Networks, Inc. Warner-Amex had originally created and owned Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and The Movie Channel. Viacom acquired 66% of the company in 1985 and then acquired the remaining 34% interest in 1986. MTV Networks was renamed Viacom Media Networks in 2011.
In 2000, following Viacom's acquisition of CBS Corporation, The Nashville Network and CMT, the two channels owned by CBS by that time, became part of MTV Networks, with The Nashville Network becoming The National Network.
In 2001, Viacom purchased Washington-based Black Entertainment Television, and integrated it into MTV Networks, which later separated BET from MTV to a new group BET Networks.
In 2003, Comedy Central became part of MTV Networks after Viacom's acquisition of the remaining shares of the latter from Time Warner. The joint dates back to 1991, when HA! and Time Warner's The Comedy Channel merged.
In January 2006, the remnants of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (MTV Networks and Showtime Networks) were separated following Viacom's split into two entities: CBS Corporation, which retained Showtime, and a spun-off company under the Viacom name, which took ownership of Paramount Pictures and MTV Networks.
In the fall of 2012, media analysts began to report that ratings amongst some of Viacom's leading brands in the U.S were experiencing declines in viewership. 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. 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. 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.
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.
In August 2019, Viacom announced that it will re-merge with CBS Corporation, reuniting the two entities under the new name ViacomCBS. The merger is slated to close in early December 2019. Announced on November 11, 2019, as part of the re-merger, the Media Networks division will be renamed ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, and would be reorganized. MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo were reorganized into the "Entertainment & Youth Group", 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; Pop was transferred to the Entertainment & Youth Group in January 2020. The re-merger was closed on December 4, 2019 and the Domestic Media Networks division was subsequently renamed on the same date.
Entertainment & Youth Group
- Comedy Central1
- Paramount Network2
- Pop TV14
- Smithsonian Channel13
- TV Land
Premium Content Group
- Showtime Networks
Kids & Family Group
2Originally TNN from 1983 to 2003 (as The Nashville Network until 1997; as The National Network until 2003) and was known as Spike until January 2018.
3Channel was originally known as VH1 MegaHits before being discontinued in July 2005 to facilitate Logo launch.
5Created as VH1 Country prior to Viacom/CBS merger.
8Channel was originally known MTV Hits until 2016 when it was rebranded as NickMusic.
9Channel 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 once more in 2009.
10Channel was originally known as The N before being rebranded as TeenNick in 2009.
11Programming block was originally known as "The 90's Are All That" until 2015, "The Splat" until 2017 and "NickSplat" until 2019.
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.
13Co-owned with the Smithsonian Institution. ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks handles operations; is supported through commercial advertising.
14Previously owned by CBS Corporation, and prior to 2019, half of the share owned by Lionsgate. Formerly known as TVGN, and TV Guide Network.
15Established by Viacom's Showtime Networks in 1992, and later became part of CBS Corporation following Viacom's split in 2006.
Through its Domestic Media Networks division, ViacomCBS also owns internet properties, such as MTV News and AwesomenessTV. The company ran a virtual world system, Virtual MTV, in the late 2000s. It formerly owned Neopets, Atom Entertainment, RateMyProfessors.com, and other web properties before shutting them down or selling them to other companies in the 2000s and 2010s.
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. The two subsequently collaborated on the creation of Rock Band. That year, Viacom also acquired the gaming-oriented communications platform Xfire.
In 2011, Viacom established a in-house studio known as 345 Games, which is dedicated primarily to developing games based on Comedy Central and MTV properties.
ViacomCBS Networks International
ViacomCBS Networks International is a division of Viacom International. Its headquarters are in New York, London, Warsaw and Buenos Aires. It consists of MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Colors.
The ViacomCBS International Media Networks network consists of:
- ViacomCBS Networks EMEA
- ViacomCBS Networks Northern Europe
- ViacomCBS Networks Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa
- ViacomCBS Networks Asia Pacific
- ViacomCBS Networks Americas
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.
- List of MTV channels
- ViacomCBS Networks International
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