TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Viacom's MTV Launches Web-Based TV 'Channel'

Viacom's MTV Launches Web-Based TV 'Channel'

Lisa Minter (
06 Apr 2005 23:12:39 -0700

NEW YORK (Reuters) - MTV Networks, home to raucous pop culture
television hits like "The Osbournes" and "Punk'd," on Wednesday
launched a free Web-based "channel" that places many of its popular
programs on the Internet.

MTV, a unit of media conglomerate Viacom Inc., debuted "MTV
Overdrive," a web site where viewers watch full length music video on
demand, extended versions of programs that have aired on MTV's
television network and original video updates from its MTV News

With Overdrive, now in limited testing and due for full release April
25, MTV joins a host of companies using high-speed Internet
connections to deliver high-quality video to consumers without using a
TV, including Walt Disney, Microsoft Corp., Alcatel, Akimbo and other
telecommunications providers.

"With an incredibly high percentage of young people using broadband,
it seemed essential to create a new hybrid screen with its own
content," said Jason Hirschhorn, Senior Vice President of Digital
Music & Media at MTV Networks.

The service will feature music videos, clips from live performances
and shows like "TRL," movie trailers and eventually programs related
to video games and fashion.

It will be supported by inserted video advertising and billboard ads
from Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Sony Corp's Sony Pictures, as
well as other top advertisers from the TV network.

Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Group said he is not concerned
that putting the shows on the Web will draw viewers away from the MTV
television franchise.

"The TV experience is still great. Our ratings are moving higher and
we don't fear that (losing viewers)," he said at a press
conference. "(Also) we are capturing money that is going to new

Toffler added that the company is in talks with cable operators such
as Comcast about possibly delivering the channel to cable subscribers,
but said there were no deals in place.

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