VIVA UK closes

UPDATE 2 | The UK version of music channel VIVA has closed.

VIVA had been available free-to-air on Freesat 511 and Freeview 57 as well as on Sky 353 and Virgin Media 317.

Owner Viacom has replaced the service with pop-up pay TV channel MTV Love*. The VIVA UK website now redirects to MTV. On Freeview, where VIVA was a daytime only service, 5USA+1, the timeshift channel that shared bandwidth with VIVA has expanded its broadcast hours, with a placeholder for 5SPIKE+1 now on VIVA's former Freeview channel number (57), available to viewers in some areas and via newer Freeview receivers only.

Originally launched in 2009 as a replacement for music channel TMF, the format of the channel changed in April 2015 when VIVA became an all-music channel, ditching evening entertainment programmes.

Viacom never made any official announcement about the future of VIVA, indicating the channel had fallen out of love with the US media giant. Its German counterpart currently languishes as a part-time channel, a shadow of its former self.

The company does have a track record of making unannounced changes to VIVA UK: on Freeview, the channel was due to close in April 2015, with Spike, now 5Spike taking over its bandwidth. It continued, unannounced, as a cut down service, eventually changing frequencies without warning and becoming a daytime-only channel for viewers in some areas.

*Virgin Media UK viewers can see MTV Love on channel 318.

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