Television

MTV spreads digital tentacles in the US,

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MTV Networks is expanding its suite of channels available for digital distribution in America. Four new 24-hour channels for kids and music fans, including MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Nicktoons TV and VH1 Mega Hits will go on air shortly. 

The aim, says MTV, is to expand and strengthen MTV Networks' digital offerings to 13 services. Cablevision is the first operator to sign on for services from the new package, says an official release, and will soon add MTV Hits and Nicktoons TV to their iO: Interactive Optimum digital service line-up. 

MTV Networks chairman Tom Freston says: "Each of these channels was created in response to our audience's tastes and demands. We believe these new channels will help our affiliates as they continue to expand their digital business and help them grow their cable modem business."

MTVN's core digital services include VH1 Classic featuring the greatest music from the 60s, 70s and 80s with nearly 12 million subscribers. Noggin, the innovative, commercial free educational network from Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop claims availability in over 22 million homes; and Nickelodeon Games and Sports (GAS) claims a subscriber base of 10 million. Nick Too, VH1 Country, VH1 Soul, VH Uno, and MTV Espanol complete MTVN's digital offerings. MTV2, with 40 million subscribers claims to have both analog and digital carriage.

MTV Hits will focus on the younger end of MTV's demographic, serving the 12-24 market with the music and artists they love. MTV Jams will feature the best Rap, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Soul music and artists. MTV Jams will replace MTV X across all digital cable services. Nicktoons TV, the first ever 24 hour channel built on Nickelodeon animation, will feature classic Nick originals like Doug and Ren & Stimpy to their cutting edge counterparts like Jimmy Neutron. Nicktoons TV will replace Nick Too in some areas on the American west coast. 

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