VH1 enters Asia with 24-hour channel in Thailand

MUMBAI: VH1, the more mature offspring of MTV Networks, takes its first tentative step in Asia with a debut in Asia this month.


VH1 will appear in Thailand as a 24-hour channel on UBC's Channel 50 and daily programme belts on MTV Southeast Asia and MTV Philippines, with an estimated reach of over 17 million households. Does the long pending entry of VH1 in the East spell an imminent entry into India too? The network has been scotching talk of the channel's entry in India for over a year, saying the timing was not right just now. 

But with conditional access now almost a reality, it would not be far fetched to presume that while MTV (which has till date resisted the temptation of being lured into a bouquet) remains free to air, VH1 may launch as a pay channel on the lines of Fashion TV which has announced its intention of maintaining two versions in India post CAS - one, a watered down FTA version and a raunchier pay channel.

VH1 in Thailand, meanwhile, will provide premier music television content targeting 25 to 44-year-olds. MTV on the other hand is a youth oriented channel, more irreverent, experimental, even a trifle louder than its older sibling. According to MTV Networks Asia senior vice-president network development Richard Cunningham, VH1 captures the MTV graduates and in Thailand will focus on the international music scene, bringing the Asia-wide audience a total music and entertainment experience. 

On MTV Southeast Asia and MTV Philippines, VH1's weekday programming belts are at 11 am and 11 pm, titled Heaven at Eleven, in which viewers will be treated to non stop music videos reflecting a daily theme like VH1 Soul and VH1 Rock. On weekends, shows like Behind the Music will feature true life stories that shake the world of rock n roll, including interviews with key players in the music industry like Bon Jovi, Sting, Cyndi Lauper and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Other weekend specials include VH1 News Special, VH1 Divas Live and the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards.

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