2017 has already seen the shut down or re-branding of 3 NBCUniversal networks with Esquire and Cloo going dark. The Oxygen Network is being re-branded into a crime network and almost all of their shows are being canceled and their senior staff replaced.
Now it seems that it is Spike TV’s turn to be re-branded. Yesterday Viacom announced that they have decided to rename the Spike TV to be the Paramount Network. Well it is a surprise that the well known Spike TV name is going away it is no surprise that Paramount is the name replacing it.
“A big part of our future is better integrating Paramount into the company and connecting it more to the work we do across media brands,” Viacom CEO Robert Bakish told employees last month.
Spike, was originally branded as a “male-oriented, with unscripted series like Lip Sync Battle, Bar Rescue and Ink Master. The new Paramount Network will concentrate on “building distinctive, high-quality scripted and non-scripted original programming,” according to an internal memo, and is meant to have broader appeal than the other networks (Nickelodeon and Nick Jr for kids, Comedy Central and MTV for millennials and BET for African Americans).
Spike was the most watched Viacom TV networks in 2016 with 704,000 average viewers, according to Deadline. Among adults 18-49, it was third behind VH1 and MTV with 334,000 viewers. It first launched in 1983 as The Nashville Network and it was later shortened to just TNN until it was changed in a full reformatting to Spike TV in 2003.
We do not know what they plan to do with the new Paramount Network channel. Yet Viacom’s CEO Bob Bakish did say that the new Paramount Network in 2018 “will take advantage of potential growth opportunities for its Bellator mixed-martial arts programming.”
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