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Viacom to axe Viva brand following German shutdown

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is set to scrap its Viva music channel brand after closing Viva in its German speaking markets at the end of the year.

The company announced that it was “retiring Viva from its local brand portfolio” at the same time as it said it plans to expand the Comedy Central channel to a 24-hour offering in Germany from January 2019.

Comedy Central in Germany currently broadcasts 12 hours per day from 2pm-2am and shares the channel with Viva, which broadcasts the rest of the time.

The planned shutdown of Viva in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – the only markets where the brand it is still available – comes after the UK version of the music channel ceased broadcasting at the end of January this year.

As of March 1, Viva was replaced on the Sky and Virgin platforms in the UK with MTV OMG – a new Viacom music channel featuring “the biggest party tunes, most nostalgic throwbacks, cheesiest guilty pleasures, and the hottest celebrities.”

The move is part of Viacom International Media Networks’ strategy to focus on the six core brands: Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Channel and BET.

“The Comedy Central brand has demonstrated consistent successful performance in Germany,” said Raffaele Annecchino, President and MD of VIMN Southern and Western Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“After five consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth, we have decided to expand the Comedy Central channel offer to a full 24-hours, beginning in January.”