US media company Viacom will perform major changes in its German channel family this autumn: VIVA will hand over its evening hours to Comedy Central while Nickelodeon will be turned into a 24 hour service and MTV into an HD-only channel.
From October 1, 2014 youth channel VIVA will transmit only between 6.00 and 17.00 CET each day, Magnus Kastner, executive vice-president and managing director at Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe, told German industry magazine w&v. Entertainment channel Comedy Central will occupy VIVA’s slot from 17.00 CET.
Comedy Central has so far aired each evening from 20.15 CET on the slot of children’s channel Nickelodeon which will in future offer a 24 hour service. With the expanded transmission time, Viacom responds to the good ratings development and advertiser demand for Comedy Central. “We believe that we will be strategically better positioned with Comedy Central during these hours, also regarding the booking situation,” explained Kastner.
VIVA confirmed the cut-down of its airtime on its Facebook site. According to the channel, it will in future focus on music and Japanese animated series and also expand its interactive offerings which combine TV and internet.
With its new evening programme, Nickelodeon doesn’t want to target the whole family in contrast to its competitors Disney Channel and Super RTL, but eyes older children. “We will follow the bedtimes of children and adolescents. With each hour, we will consequently become older and increasingly target teenagers or even viewers in their twenties,” said Kastner. He added that Nickelodeon’s evening programme might adopt a different name to separate itself from the daytime programme. In the USA, for example, Nickelodeon calls itself nick@nite in the evening.
Viacom’s flagship channel MTV will be rebranded MTV HD and positioned as a sole HD channel from the autumn, said Kastner. This would be “the next logical step into the digital future for MTV.”