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MTV to launch 3 customised channels for ethnic audiences in US

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MUMBAI: The MTV Network has announced that it will launch three new customised MTV channels specifically designed to super-serve ethnic populations in the US.

Of the three, MTV Desi, serving audiences with roots in the Indian sub-continent living in the US, will be the first channel to launch. It will be followed by MTV China and MTV Korea in 2005, with additional channels to follow.

These channels will feature the best music and shows from MTV's international channels and original programming, promos and packaging created in the US, to become the pop culture destination for their respective audiences.

These new MTV channels will cater to the needs of Americans with an affiliation to a home country or culture that is not catered to by American mainstream media. MTV's unique global network of locally programmed channels offers a vast inventory of programming in native languages which resonates and connects deeply with local populations. Rather than re-broadcast existing international feeds, MTV is creating new channels specifically for the US, adding local VJs, music and live events from the best of its global programming to tap into the rich transcultural nature of the target audiences in a manner that uniquely connects local audiences to their homeland.

Apart from this, the network also announced today that Nusrat Durrani will be named to the post of general manager and senior vice president of MTV World and will oversee these new offerings.

Durrani joined MTV Networks in 1996 and was part of the team that launched MTV's interactive division. Prior to joining MTV, he worked in Dubai for Al Futtaim/Honda and before that he worked in New Delhi for Uptron, which was the leading electronics player in India at the time. Durrani was born in Lucknow and has his MBA from the University of Lucknow and his MA in Communications from the New York Institute of Technology.

"We live in an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural country, where conversations at the dinner table and in the living room are more and more taking place in Chinese, Hindi, Urdu and Korean," said MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath. "Launching these new channels is the next logical and tremendously exciting step for MTV Networks, delivering customised programming that reflects the bi-cultural identities of these audiences, not to mention providing another platform for all the great talent from these communities."

MTV Networks Music Group president Van Toffler said, "At MTV, we're always looking for new and better ways to super-serve the growing niche audiences in the US with unique platforms created especially for them. I couldn't be more excited about these launches -- especially because I'll learn how to say 'super-serve' in at least three languages. We are lucky to have Nusrat on board to run this business. His enthusiasm and strategic thinking are essential to helping us reach underserved ethnic groups who are craving programming from their homelands."

MTV Networks International president Bill Roedy, on the other hand said, "MTV offers incredibly diverse local programming around the world. These new channels will use the best of this content to provide millions of young Americans with a connection to the youth culture of their countries of origin. These three new channels represent a milestone in our development as a global company, with foreign language content from our international channels being used to help drive our business in the US."

According to a research done by MTV, it was found that these populations are currently underserved by the media and there is a great appetite for local language channels amongst these groups. Many of these ethnic groups prefer speaking their home language, and are hungry for music and culture from their country of origin.

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