ViacomCBS Networks International is planning three changes for its Hungarian pay-TV portfolio this winter, as one network is launching, one network is closing down and another network will be rebranded. RTL Spike, the special Hungarian version of the internationally known brand Spike, is closing down, while TeenNick is going to be rolled out for the first time in the Central and Eastern Europe region, specifically, Hungary and Romania. Additionally, the movie network Paramount Channel will be rebranded as Paramount Network. After learning about the proposed channel portfolio changes, we asked ViacomCBS Hungary for more details.
On the 12th January 2021, RTL Spike will close down and TeenNick will be launched instead. RTL Spike has been broadcasting mostly action, horror and sci-fi series, such as The Walking Dead, Orphan Black and Alarm für Cobra 11, but also reality shows, docu-dramas and animated series. Most of RTL Spike’s programming will move to Paramount Channel, which has been mostly a film channel until now. On 17th December 2020, the Hungarian version of Paramount Channel will be rebranded as Paramount Network, whereas the Romanian and Polish versions will remain unchanged. Nickelodeon’s live-action series channel, TeenNick will also be launching in Romania on 12th January 2021.
Paramount Channel is to become Paramount Network
CRT asked what is Paramount Network going to bring to the viewers and how does it compare to Paramount Channel. Here’s the entire statement from the representatives at ViacomCBS International in Hungary regarding the rebrand:
Following market developments and evolving viewers’ needs, ViacomCBS is readjusting its portfolio of channels in Hungary. As part of this, we will reposition and rebrand Paramount Channel to Paramount Network. Paramount Network is a recently introduced global general entertainment brand for ViacomCBS that, while building on the legacy of the iconic Hollywood brand, allows for enriching the core movie programing of the channel with edgy and thrilling series. With this combination, Paramount Network is going to be a destination for premium entertainment and storytelling with an even broader appeal. (…) The most popular series from RTL Spike, such as Cobra 11, Yellowstone, The Coroner or Fargo will all move to Paramount Network.
The closing of RTL Spike and the launch of TeenNick
“Based on experience from the last few years,” ViacomCBS sees more potential in a new channel aimed at a kids audience in Hungary:
Nick channels are undisputed market leaders in Hungary. While all other kids channels gradually dropped their shares, the Nick portfolio continuously increased its viewership throughout the past five years. Today, the first three most popular kids channels are all from the Nick portfolio, providing 60% viewing share of the kids channels. As our channels are aimed at different age groups and interests, with really minimal overlap, we haven’t experienced internal cannibalisation every time when we introduces a new kids channel to the market. These experiences tell us that there must be demand and room for a new member of the Nick brand family. TeenNick will entertain the teenagers providing teen comedy and dramedy live-action series content.
TeenNick, which will also be launching in Romania and will feature live-action series, such as iCarly, The Thundermans, Noobees, I am Frankie, School of Rock, Victorious, and many more. For now, there are no plans to launch TeenNick in other CEE countries.
In an additional statement, ViacomCBS’ representatives have also told CRT about how the new channel will be distributed to service providers. “We are transitioning RTL Spike to TeenNick and are offering this new channel for the distributors/service providers to carry. The introduction of the new channel to the market is supported by the phasing out of RTL Spike, thus freeing up space for the new brand that, we are confident, will be an advantageous move both for the operators and the customer families.“