Television

MTV Networks to launch 100th channel in Africa

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MUMBAI: MTV Networks will launch the company's 100th channel MTV Base on 1 February 2005 in Africa. MTV Networks claims to be the first global media company to achieve the 100-channel milestone,

Africa is MTV's final frontier. The launch will give the company locally customised channels in every region of the world.

MTV Base in Africa will be an English language music TV channel that will reflect the tastes and interests of African youth through a combination of African and international music videos and locally produced content, complemented by MTV's international long-form programming such as Cribs and Making The Video. MTV Base in Africa will also provide a platform for a variety of African music genres including Kwaito, Hip-Life, Mbalax and Zouk, alongside diverse international urban artists including Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Sean Paul, IAM, Passi and Saian Supa Crew.

MTV Base will reach approximately 1.3million households across sub-Saharan Africa via multi-channel operators DStv, Trend TV, CTNL and FSTV. Since launching in Europe in 1987, MTV Networks has expanded to Asia-Pacific and Latin America, where the company has regional infrastructures that support local channels across all brands, reaching a potential audience of over 1 billion people in 164 territories. The most widely distributed channel brands are MTV with 43 channels and Nickelodeon with 23 channels.

Viacom co-president and co-COO Tom Freston said, "The launch of MTV Base in Africa completes our global footprint and I couldn't be more excited. Ever since MTV first launched, we saw great potential to take this brand and make it relevant to audiences across the globe.

"Today, with channels in every region of the world, we have done exactly that. So this year, to culminate that vision with our 100th channel launch in Africa is so sweet particularly since so much of contemporary music traces its roots to African music."

MTV Networks International president Bill Roedy said, "Launching an MTV channel in Africa has been a long-time goal, and reflects our mission of celebrating the diversity of youth culture around the world. By tapping into Africa's rich local music scene, we plan to play a major role in supporting and exporting Africa's incredible artists and cultural heritage around the world. Having this platform in Africa will also help expand our efforts to fight the HIV/Aids epidemic - a global priority for our company and a vital issue for Africans."

MTV Networks CEO and chairman Judy McGrath, said, "With more than 75 per cent of MTV's channels outside the US, we are a truly global operation that is fuelled by the exchange of creative ideas and cultures. Our international business is so important to the overall growth of MTV Networks and now reaching the 100 channel milestone, it is clear that there is no media company better positioned to benefit in the expanding international marketplace."

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