MTV enters video game arena with stake in France's Game One

LONDON: MTV has taken note of the ongoing video game craze in Europe. MTV Networks Europe has acquired a 50 per cent stake in French videogames channel 'Game One' through a partnership with French media company Atari.

The alliance, which marks MTV Networks' entrance into the gaming arena, leverages the company's niche audience expertise and represents the next step in the company's ongoing international expansion.

The management structure of Game One will remain the same, with CEO Michael Sportouch presiding over the operation and reporting to a board appointed by Atari and MTV Networks. Game One, a 24*7 French language channel devoted to games, is distributed to 3.5 million homes on all c&s platforms in France. The fully-integrated Game One offering comprises of interactive elements such as SMS chat, competitions, news, reviews of current games, games tips and a dedicated website.

The partnership with Game One marks the next step in the MTV's longterm global expansion strategy. In the last year the global network has launched 13 services in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including five MTV channels, six Nickelodeon services and one channel each for the VH1 and TMF brands. In addition, MTV Networks Europe acquired TMF Holland and TMF Belgium and Dutch kids brand Kindernet a couple of years ago.

MTV is Europe's largest broadcast network. The 36 MTV, VH1, TMF and Nickelodeon channels reaching 110 million households across Europe. Game One's 15-34 core demographic complements MTV France's youth audience, creating opportunities for co-production and cross-promotion. With Game One's ad sales represented by MTV France's sales house MTV Publicit?, the alliance will also offer extensive opportunities for marketing partnerships via a combination of games and music-related offerings.

MTV Networks Europe COO Simon Guild said: "Videogames and home entertainment are integral to European youth culture, so we see opportunities to expand Game One to other markets, as a natural complement to our stable of youth and music brands. The alliance will enable Game One to take advantage of MTV Networks Europe's creative expertise and pan-European infrastructure, whilst Game One will bring its extensive experience of the videogames arena to our network. The partnership will also offer new opportunities to brands who will now be able to lazer-target the French youth marketing via a combination of MTV and Game One packages.?

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