MTV's music-only channel to launch soon

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 26, 2010
Viacom 18 is gearing up to launch a music channel soon. The company's existing channel in this genre, MTV will become a complete youth entertainment channel

The market is abuzz with Viacom 18's plans to launch a 24-hour music channel this year. The broadcaster is believed to have been actively acquiring music for some time now.

MTV officials, however, are tight-lipped about the development. But sources say that the company has been planning the channel's launch for months. Several names for the channel are floating around -- MTV Desi, MTV 2 and Bounce, for instance -- but the exact name could not be ascertained.

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Says a senior media buyer, "Last year, MTV was under tremendous pressure from 9XM. The 24- hour, non-stop music channel has proven to be a good model, both in terms of viewership and revenues. Viacom 18's plan of a me-too makes sense."

The existing channel in this genre, MTV will become a youth entertainment channel, which will telecast both fiction and non-fiction content. It is notable that MTV has gradually been reducing its music content over a period of time, paving the way for non-music reality shows and other programmes.

Production houses such as Sphere Origins are in the process of producing content for MTV. In November last year, MTV also dropped 'Music Television' from its name.

In another significant development, Viacom 18 roped in Vikas Varma of 9XM in January this year, to head MTV. Varma is believed to have got his entire team from 9XM along, for this new channel.

Several other broadcasters are eyeing the music genre. Sri Adhikari Brothers recently launched Mastiii, a comedy-music channel; and Sony is planning to launch one too.

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