VIVA to be axed from Freeview

Music and entertainment channel VIVA is to be axed from Freeview next Spring, as Viacom makes its first major channel distribution change following its recent acquisition of Channel 5.

Philippe Dauman, Viacom President and CEO announced the move this morning as he confirmed the arrival of Viacom's Spike brand in the UK, with the new channel replacing VIVA on Freeview and YouView. Spike, a "male skewing" channel will offer factual reality shows from Spike USA and Channel 5,  but full programme / schedule details are yet to be announced. Negotiations over Spike's carriage on cable and satellite platforms are underway.

VIVA, meanwhile, will continue on cable and satellite, but reports suggest some VIVA content (which in turn is often recycled programmes from Viacom's pay TV channels) being moved to 5*.

The future of the VIVA brand is uncertain: the original VIVA channel, which launched in the 1990s in Germany is effectively in the process of being wound down, having had its broadcast hours reduced to just 11 hours per day.

FAQ: Spike arriving in the UK  

Last updated: 22:25
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