F.Y.I.

MTV Networks to expand its channels and distribution

Viacom’s MTV Networks is set to boost its Australian presence by moving its flagship channel MTV to Foxtel’s basic tier and expanding its channel portfolio.  

The announcement:

Sydney, Australia, 19 October 2010 — MTV Networks Australia, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is set to expand its presence in the Australian marketplace with a 36% increase in distribution as flagship channel MTV moves onto Foxtel’s ‘Get Started’ tier on 1 November 2010. In addition, the MTV Networks Australia portfolio is set to grow when MTV Hits, MTVNHD – the country’s first high-definition music channel – and MTVN go live on the same date.

MTV’s move onto the ‘Get Started’ tier on 1 November 2010 will result in MTV being seen in all Foxtel households in Australia – a shift that increases distribution by an additional 400,000 Australian homes for the iconic youth brand.

“MTV Networks’ constant evolution means that we can expand our channel portfolio and continuously super-serve audiences across multiple demographics,” said Rebecca Batties, General Manager, Music Brands, MTV Networks Australia & New Zealand. “2010 has been a huge year for MTV Networks Australia – which kicked off with launch of MTV Classic – and by adding MTV Hits, MTVNHD – and it’s SD cousin MTVN – to the mix, we are able to offer ‘5 pack’ of MTV branded channels which will appeal to Aussie music and entertainment fans of all ages and tastes.”

With the addition of the three new channels, the portfolio of MTV channels in Australia expands to five 24-hour programming services, including:

MTV Hits (Channel 808) will feature hit music catering to 13-24 year olds in an upbeat and interactive MTV environment. Bringing the connection of social media platforms and the television screen to a new level, MTV Hits is based upon the premise of aligning with audiences’ use of social media and building a “comMuniTV” where music lovers will have the opportunity to own, engage with and be part of the channel by creating play lists, expressing points of view and even making on-screen appearances throughout the day via exclusive, first-run interactive programming.

Artists such as Rihanna, David Guetta, Jason Derulo, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Usher, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian and B.O.B. will share the screen with Australian viewers as they create and influence content and comment on programming in real time, further blurring the lines where young people experience music — radio, television, online via www.mtvhits.com.au and live events.

MTVNHD (Channel 252) will feature a diverse array live performance and music series such as ‘Life & Rhymes’ ‘MTV’s 360 Sessions’ ‘MTV World Stage’, premier live music events such as the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV EMAs, as well as live performance specials from international music festivals such as Rock am Ring, Oxegen Festival, Isle of MTV, Rock Am Ring, Roskilde and Benicassim, as well as exclusive performances from artists including Coldplay, Kings of Leon, John Legend, The Killers, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Gorillaz and Kid Rock – all broadcast in 1080i High-Definition and Dolby Surround 5.1 surround sound.

Aimed specifically at ‘purist’ lovers of live music performance from 16 – 60 and with an array of both original and acquired programming, MTVN HD will also be simulcast in Standard Definition as MTVN (Channel 812).

“The way fans consume music and entertainment is ever changing so we have challenged ourselves to offer a suite of complementary channels to meet the needs of today’s audiences,” added Rebecca Batties. “These are exciting times. Using the technology of High Definition or the connectivity of social media creates exciting entertainment experiences for the entire spectrum of MTV’s audiences.”

MTV Hits, MTVNHD and MTVN join MTV Classic (Channel 810) – aimed specifically at 25-40 year olds and designed specifically to showcase music and music-inspired entertainment centered on artists, genres and music programming from the 80s to the 00s. MTV Classic’s launch featured Slash, whose performance was broadcast to more than 455 million homes around the world as part MTV’s World Stage franchise.

Flagship channel, MTV (Channel 124) – aimed at 16 – 29 year olds continuously evolves by fusing music with smash hit programming that connects with – and reflects – youth and youth culture. MTV is the home of first-run international blockbuster programming including Jersey Shore (which was the channel’s second most successful 2010 premiere after The Hills season 6 finale), in addition to Teen Moms, 16 & Pregnant and an exclusive, soon-to-be-announced reality commission.

MTV Hits, MTVN and MTVNHD will be available as part of the Kids & Music package available from Foxtel. MTVN HD will be one of 20 High-Definition channels available to Foxtel’s HD subscribers.

Source: MTV Networks press release

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