MTV Classic (UK & Ireland)
|Launched||1 July 1999|
|Network||MTV (UK & Ireland)|
|Owned by||Viacom International Media Networks Europe|
|Picture format||16:9, 576i (SDTV)|
|Audience share||UK: |
0.17% (HD) (August 2018 , BARB)
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom and Ireland|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Formerly called||VH1 Classic (1999–2010)|
|Virgin Media (Ireland)||Channel 707|
|TalkTalk TV||Channel 538|
|BT TV||Channel 538|
MTV Classic (formerly VH1 Classic) is a British pay television music channel from Viacom. The channel was launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 1 July 1999 as VH1 Classic. It focuses on music videos and music specials from the 1960s onwards, sometimes featuring music videos and concert footage from as early as at least the 1940s or 1950s, such as Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" from 1942. It has also occasionally aired videos from the 2000s and early 2010s. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles, the first video to air on the original MTV in 1981, was also the first music video to be played when the channel was rebranded as MTV Classic on 1 March 2010. Every November and December on some dates of each year, MTV Classic will play Christmas-themed music branded as MTV Xmas. Since the rebrand, Viacom has rebranded other international channels as MTV Classic. On 1 May 2010, VH1 Australia was rebranded as MTV Classic and on 10 January 2011, MTV Networks Europe launched an Italian version of the same channel, replacing MTV Gold.
MTV Classic began broadcasting in widescreen on 6 March 2012.
Viacom occasionally rebrands MTV Classic to a different name to air different kinds of music.
- MTV Xmas: From 23 November 2013 to 27 December 2013, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Xmas, playing only Christmas-themed music. This has been repeated from 14 November 2014 to 26 December 2014 and every year since.
- MTV Summer: From 1 August 2014 to 1 September 2014, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Summer, playing only summer-themed music. This has been repeated from 29 June 2015 to 3 August 2015, replacing MTV Pride.
- MTV Love: From 29 January 2015 to 16 February 2015, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Love, playing only love songs.
- MTV Pride: From 27 June 2015 to 29 June 2015, the channel was temporarily rebranded as MTV Pride to coincide with Pride Weekend in celebration of diversity and equality which celebrated LGBT life by playing gay music icons from the likes of Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Cyndi Lauper, Donna Summer, Cher and Pink. This was replaced by MTV Summer on 29 June 2015 and was repeated again at the end of June 2016 for a weekend. MTV Pride was moved to MTV OMG since 2018.
- MTV 90s: From the end of May to the end of June 2016, the channel rebranded as MTV 90s playing 90s music videos and select Nickelodeon shows from the 90s like Clarissa Explains It All and Kenan & Kel.
MTV Classic's on-air identity is similar to MTV's international identity. MTV Classic utilises the new MTV logo along with specially commissioned idents by ICC. These idents are also used on other MTV Classic channels around the world including MTV Classic Australia, which launched in May 2010.
- "MTV Announce Channel Changes". Entertainment Focus. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011.
- Welsh, Daniel (18 November 2013). "MTV to launch dedicated Christmas channel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Three MTV channels leave Virgin Media". The Airwaves. 26 August 2010. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013.
- "ICC". Vimeo. Retrieved 27 June 2013.