MTV Networks International (MTVNI), owned by Viacom Inc has announced the launch of the first ever international high definition service dedicated to music and kids, MTVNHD (MTV Networks High Definition). The channel will premiere on Monday, 15 September 2008 and will be available in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden. The 24-hour English language service will debut at 12 noon (CET) with 30 Seconds to Mars' video A Beautiful Lie.
This state-of-the-art channel underlines MTVNI's on-going commitment to providing its global audience with innovative premium content. Over 300 hours of bespoke programming has been commissioned over two years, providing viewers with an enhanced music and kids' entertainment experience across MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon among other MTVNI brands.
MTVNI intends to extend the MTVNHD service to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela by the end of 2008.
In making the announcement Robert Bakish, President, MTVNI commented: "Entering the high-def universe is a natural next step in our growth as a premier global media company. MTVNHD further deepens our audience connection as we continue to refine and expand the way we develop, package and deliver quality content. This initiative strengthens our global portfolio of assets across our brands as we cater to our targeted audience in a format we are confident they will embrace."
MTVNHD will be operated by MTVNI's Emerging Markets Group, who will produce and broadcast the channel 24-hours a day from its Warsaw hub. The service will also leverage MTVNI's global creative talent pool with programming produced by other international MTV Networks production units in Southern Europe, the UK and Latin America.
"MTVNHD is a great example of how we can leverage the strengths of our global network," added Bhavneet Singh, Managing Director and Executive Vice President, Emerging Markets, MTVNI. "Basing the new HD channel in Poland recognises Central and Eastern Europe as an increasingly important region that is at the forefront of technological and creative innovation."
The channel's line-up will consist of music based and kids' programming that is original, acquired and from MTVNI's multi-branded library. Music content will include a variety of iconic series such as MTV Unplugged and VH1 Storytellers as well as high profile live music events including Isle of MTV, Roskilde, the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Europe Music Awards. In addition, a Nickelodeon programming block, broadcasting on Saturday and Sunday mornings, will play host to the network's stable of hit shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: The Legend of Aang, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Tak & the Power of Juju and Mr. Meaty.
MTVNHD will be hosted by a number of personalities including MTV Latin America's Francisco Ortiz and English newcomer, Amy Perfect, selected from thousands of hopefuls from around the world.
Examples of MTVNHD's original HD programming include:
Chartblast - an hour long weekday countdown show
HD Extreme - a 30 minute, extreme sports magazine show
MTV Top 20 - a weekly 90 minute show that takes a look back at the best of ... hosted by Ortiz
Uncompressed - a weekly hour long show that explores different themes in music hosted by Perfect
Acquired HD titles include:
Eric Clapton, Crossroads (120 mins)
Godsmack Live (103 mins)
Matchbox Twenty - Live in Atlanta (95 mins)
Nickelback Live (60 mins)
Meatloaf Live (60 mins)
White Snake (90 mins)
The channel will be supported by a dedicated website ( www.mtvnhd.com
), which will provide users with information about the channel, schedules and much more.