Viacom to Rebrand Spike TV as Paramount Network

Viacom will focus on six flagship network brands as it looks to revitalize its core cable business, the company said in its fiscal Q1 ratings report Thursday, including a rebranded Spike TV, which will become Paramount Network.

The company, under CEO Bob Bakish, will put “the full power of Viacom” behind the brands, including BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount, which in particular will get a major brand boost as it takes over Spike TV in 2018. The new Paramount Network will serve as Viacom’s “premiere general entertainment brand,” combining Spike’s programming and the movie-based Paramount brand.

Viacom's focus on six core cable brands will invevitably come at the expense of other Viacom-owned networks such as VH1, CMT and TV Land.

Viacom also said it will invest in new content experiences, including a first ever dedicated, short-form content unit, and will further extend Viacom’s brand reach through live experiences and consumer products, the company said.

Also the company plans to revitalize and elevate approach to content and talent; deepen partnerships to drive traditional revenue; make moves in the digital word and physical world and continue to optimize and energize the organization.

"Today we share a strategy that will enable Viacom to realize the full potential of its premier global portfolio of entertainment brands,” said Bakish in a statement. “Building on our leading domestic and growing international footprint, this strategy will expand the depth and reach of our flagship brands across multiple platforms and around the world, while also providing for more competitive differentiation and increased adaptability for our business overall. There is much work to be done, but we are confident we have the plan and people to take our brands to greater heights and build a bright future for our company.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.