Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) will shut down German music channel VIVA – once the arch-rival of MTV Europe – at the end of this year.
In return, Comedy Central, currently time-sharing its slot with VIVA, will be expanded into a 24-hour service from January 1, 2019. Viacom cites the consistent audience market share growth of Comedy Central in Germany as the reason for the decision.
The closure of VIVA marks the end of an era in German music television. The channel launched in 1993 as the challenger of MTV Europe with a schedule tailor-made for the German audience. It was taken over by Viacom in 2004.
As a farewell, VIVA wants to show the highlights of 25 years of channel history from its archive and air playlists of viewers and selected guests.
“With our three core brands we are ideally positioned,” said Mark Specht, General Manager of VIMN for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Comedy Central offers a broad spectrum of comedy, which is also rewarded by viewers with increasing market shares. MTV is well positioned to serve the growing appetite for music and entertainment after returning to free-to-air TV. And Nickelodeon is standing its ground in the very intense competitive environment with strong local highlights.”