Viacom Media Networks

Viacom Media Networks
Formerly called
MTV Networks
Division of Viacom
Industry Entertainment, cable and satellite television
Founded July 1984 (1984-07)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Founder Robert Pittman
Headquarters 1515 Broadway, One Astor Plaza, New York City, NY, United States
Key people
Bob Bakish (President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom Global Entertainment Group)
Doug Herzog (President, Viacom Music and Entertainment Group)
Cyma Zarghami (President, Nickelodeon Group)
Owner Viacom
Parent National Amusements
Website Viacom Brands

Viacom Media Networks (formerly MTV Networks) is an American mass media division of Viacom that oversees the operations of many of its television channels and Internet brands, including Nickelodeon, CMT, Comedy Central, VH1 and the original MTV channel in the United States. Its sister international division is Viacom International Media Networks.

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.[1] Warner-Amex had originally created and owned Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and The Movie Channel (TMC). Viacom acquired 66% of the company in 1985 and then acquired the remaining interest in 1986. It was then folded into Viacom International Inc., a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., and is no longer a distinct legal entity.

Cable channels owned by Viacom Media Networks

MTV Networks' original logo

Viacom Media Networks' family of brands is divided into three sections, based on the type of television programming and audiences they serve.[2] All networks are simulcasted in high definition aside from the spinoff music networks and TeenNick.

Viacom Global Entertainment Group

Nickelodeon Group

BET Networks

Former channels


1Channel created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment prior to 1984.
2Channel originally owned by CBS, became part of MTV Networks when CBS merged with Viacom.
3Created as VH1 Country prior to Viacom/CBS merger.
4Channel was originally known as VH1 MegaHits before being discontinued in July 2005 to facilitate Logo launch.
5Channel was originally known as Noggin before being rebranded as Nick Jr. in 2009. Co-owned with Sesame Workshop from 1999 to 2002.
6Channel was originally known as The N before being rebranded as TeenNick in 2009.
7Channel started as Ha!, merged with HBO's The Comedy Channel the following year, became fully owned by Viacom in 2003.
8Channel originally known as The Nashville Network until 2000 and The National Network until 2003.
9Co-owned with sister company Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. Viacom Media Networks handles operations.
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 once more in 2009.
11Channel was originally known Pinwheel until 1979 when it was rebranded as Nickelodeon.
12Channel was originally known MTV Hits until 2016 when it was rebranded as NickMusic.

Internet properties

The company also owns internet properties, such as MTV News, MTV International, and (owned by mtvU). The company ran a virtual world system, Virtual MTV in the late 2000s.[3] It formerly owned Neopets, Atom Entertainment, and other web properties before shutting them down or selling them to other companies in the 2000s and 2010s.

New York headquarters

Game properties

Viacom had a game division called MTV Games, which used to publish the Rock Band and Dance Central series by Harmonix Music Systems, its former subsidiary. Dance Central was the last game from MTV Games before its closure, but was resurrected in 2012 and will not publish the Rock Band and Dance Central series, as it will focus on other games, starting with The Age of Decadence by Iron Tower Studio. MTV Networks opened another game division called 345 Games in New York City and it will start to publish future games. The Rock Band series and the Dance Central series will be published by other publishers. The first game published by 345 Games was Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegaddeon based on the Comedy Central TV series, Ugly Americans. Recently, 345 Games has announced a video game based on the popular MMA franchise, Bellator Fighting Championships.

Viacom International Media Networks

Viacom International Media Networks is a division of Viacom International. Its headquarters are based in New York, London, Warsaw and Buenos Aires. It consists of 64 localized MTV channels, MTV Live HD, VH1 (6 in total), Nickelodeon, TMF, VIVA, Comedy Central, Game One, Nitrome Limited, Shockwave, Addicting Games, Atom Films and Xfire. MTV Networks' brands are seen globally in 560 million households in 162 countries and 33 languages via more than 150 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 350 digital media properties.

The Viacom International Media Networks network consists of:

Viacom Media Networks Rating Issues

In Fall 2012, media analysts began to report that ratings amongst some of MTV Networks' leading brands in the U.S. including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon are experiencing falls in viewership unlike other US broadcasters.[5][6]

It has been reported that MTV Networks' portfolio of channels fourteen of the 16 channels in the MTV and Nickelodeon families had viewership declines in September, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Jeunger, citing Nielsen data. MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon are of most concern to investors. The three account for roughly 50% of Viacom's operating profit, estimates David Bank of RBC Capital Markets.

See also


  1. "BUSINESS PEOPLE ; A Chief Is Named By MTV Networks". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. July 19, 1984. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  2. "Viacom". Viacom. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  3. "Virtual MTV Launches Alpha of Browser-Based Experience". Engage Digital. February 5, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  4. "MTV Latin America Confirms Rock Band Thirty Seconds to Mars to Perform at... - MEXICO CITY, July 16 /PRNewswire/". Mexico: Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  5. Jannarone, John (October 28, 2012). "Audiences Fall for MTV, Comedy Central". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  6. Flint, Joe (October 10, 2012). "MTV has big ratings issue, analyst warns". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
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