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. 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.

Cable channels owned by Viacom Media Networks

MTV channels

Nickelodeon Group

Programming blocks

BET networks

Other channels

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 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.
9Channel was originally known Pinwheel until 1979 when it was rebranded as Nickelodeon.
10Channel was originally known MTV Hits until 2016 when it was rebranded as NickMusic.
11Channel was originally known as The 90's Are All That until 2015 and The Splat until 2017.
12Channel will relocate to TeenNick on February 11, 2018.

Internet properties

The company also owns internet properties, such as MTV News, MTV International, and RateMyProfessors.com (owned by mtvU). The company ran a virtual world system, Virtual MTV, in the late 2000s.[2] 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

Gaming properties

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.[3] The two subsequently collaborated on the creation of Rock Band.[4] That year, Viacom also acquired the gaming-oriented communications platform Xfire.[5]

In 2010, Harmonix was divested to an investment firm to become an independent studio,[6][7] and Xfire was sold.[8]

In 2011, Viacom established a new in-house studio known as 345 Games, which is dedicated primarily to developing games based on Comedy Central and MTV properties.[9]

Viacom International Media Networks

Viacom International Media Networks is a division of Viacom International. Its headquarters are in New York, London, Warsaw and Buenos Aires. It consists of MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF, VIVA, Comedy Central, Game One, Nitrome Limited, Shockwave, Addicting Games, Atom Films, Colors and Xfire.

The Viacom International Media Networks network consists of:

Viacom Media Networks rating issues

In the fall of 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, were experiencing falls in viewership unlike other US broadcasters.[11][12]

It was 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 were of most concern to investors. The three account for roughly 50% of Viacom's operating profit, estimated 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. ^ "Virtual MTV Launches Alpha of Browser-Based Experience". Engage Digital. February 5, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "MTV acquires Harmonix for USD $175 million". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  4. ^ Kohler, Chris (September 14, 2007). "A Glimpse Into Harmonix's Punk-Rock Design Process". Wired. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  5. ^ "Viacom to acquire Xfire". GameSpot. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  6. ^ Halliday, Josh (24 December 2010). "Viacom sells Rock Band game studio". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Marie, Meagan (23 December 2010). "Viacom Sells Harmonix To Columbus Nova". Game Informer. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Wauters, Robin. "Exclusive: Titan Gaming Takes Xfire Off Viacom's Hands". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  9. ^ "MTV Networks Group Launches 345 Games". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  10. ^ "MTV Latin America Confirms Rock Band Thirty Seconds to Mars to Perform at... - MEXICO CITY, July 16 /PRNewswire/". Mexico: Prnewswire.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  11. ^ Jannarone, John (October 28, 2012). "Audiences Fall for MTV, Comedy Central". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ Flint, Joe (October 10, 2012). "MTV has big ratings issue, analyst warns". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 

External links