Update, 25th September 2020: The representatives from ViacomCBS announced that MTV 80s won’t be broadcast in the 16:9 aspect ratio, but will continue to air in the 4:3 format, like VH1 Classic does.
Following the rebrand of the European version of MTV Dance as club MTV in June 2020, ViacomCBS will soon be relaunching two more channels from their existing music video channels portfolio. The European versions of VH1 Classic and MTV Rocks will be rebranded as MTV 80s and MTV 90s respectively on Monday 5th October 2020.
MTV 80s will be replacing the European version of VH1 Classic and will only broadcast music from the 1980s. The ’80s were among the few decades that VH1 Classic particularly focused on since its launch in 1999; also that very decade pretty much established the MTV brand, dubbing a whole generation the “MTV Generation”. The new channel will be available in 53 million households in 61 countries and will be the place for those who like music artists such as Madonna, George Michael, Bon Jovi, Prince, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins and many others that made the ’80s.
The transition to MTV 80s began on 29th June when VH1 Classic Europe started to air an MTV 80s Takeover programming block between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. CEST. On the 21st September, the transition entered its penultimate phase, with the takeover block now running all day long and dropping the pre- and post-’80s music altogether.
MTV 80s will air music programming blocks such as The Power of 80s Love!, 80s Power Ballad Heaven, Greatest 80s Rock: Play It Loud! and countdowns like Top 50 80s Classics That Made MTV!, MTV 80s At The Movies! Top 50 and Top 50 Feelgood 80s Anthems!. The countdowns will be aired every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Unlike VH1 Classic which is currently in a square 4:3 aspect ratio format, MTV 80s will be airing in widescreen (16:9) from launch.
MTV 90s will be replacing the European version of MTV Rocks, the rock and indie music channel was also known as MTV2 between 2002 and 2010. The channel will only broadcast ’90s music, everything from timeless number ones to awesome dance anthems and to unbelievable one-hit wonders. The new channel will be available in 43 million households in over 38 countries and it is marketed towards viewers who like the Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Take That, Backstreet Boys, Blur, Oasis, among many other icons of the ’90s.
Some of the music video blocks that will air on the channel will be MMMBop! Perfect 90s Pop, Alternative 90s Anthems!, 90s Dance Anthems!, there will also be top countdowns such as Two Can Play That Game! Top 50 90s Duets and Top 50 90s Rock Anthems!.
CRT contacted ViacomCBS regarding the reason for the channel rebranding changes, the representatives from ViacomCBS replied to us and stated that the reason for the brand refresh was because of viewers’ constant changes in taste, so in response, VH1 Classic will be turning into MTV 80s, a network based on the very decade that made MTV and also maintaining one of the decades played by VH1 Classic, and MTV 90s will be providing a broader music offering than MTV Rocks, by covering all types of ’90s music.
ViacomCBS owns and operates a vast portfolio of channels in Europe, including the entertainment brands MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, BET, kids channels Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and music video networks MTV Music, MTV Live HD, VH1, VH1 Classic, MTV Hits, club MTV, MTV Rocks and MTV Music 24.