Media conglomerate Viacom will rebrand its Spike channel to The Paramount Network in early 2018.
The channel will serve as Viacom’s premiere general entertainment brand, according to the company’s 2017 first quarter results, released Thursday.
The soon-to-be-renamed network plans to leverage Viacom’s original and non-scripted programming while adding original and third-party programming.
In the past few years, Spike has moved away from its reputation as a male-skewing network to one geared to equally towards men and women, with an emphasis on celebrities and scripted programming.
“We already had a balance of reality and sports, so adding scripted to that plan really filled it out. We also knew the path to ratings success would be to encourage female viewers to come to our channel,” Sharon Levy, EVP of original series at Spike, told realscreen in 2015 when the shift was actively under consideration.
The most-recent move, according to Viacom CEO Bob Bakish (pictured), “will enable Viacom to realize the full potential of its premiere global portfolio of entertainment brands. 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.”
In other news, Viacom’s flagship brands, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount, will become the company’s main priorities and will receive increased resources.
“These six brands each have compelling, valuable and distinct brand propositions. They serve diverse, substantial audiences with largely-owned content, have global reach and distribution potential across linear, digital, film, and consumer products, events and experiences,” Viacom’s first quarter results noted.