MTV Networks Timeline
MTV Networks Timeline
• Nickelodeon launches on 1 April to cable subscribers in parts of New York and Ohio, the first all-children’s network in television history.
•August 1st: MTV launches and has a profound effect on music and engenders a new art
form – the music video. Kicked off with The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” MTV
quickly became an integral part of artists’ and record label’s marketing strategy as well as
the symbol and embodiment of youth culture. The launch of MTV reinforced the power of
branding and put the concept of cable niche programming on the map.
•Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson, and Martha Quinn become first
•December 31st: MTV airs the first MTV “New Year’s Eve Rock ‘N’ Roll Ball,” live from the Grand
Ballroom of the Hotel Diplomat in New York City, with performances by Karla deVito, Bow
Wow Wow, and David Johansen.
AS OF DECEMBER 1981, MTV HAS 2,100,000 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS.
•March 1st: “I Want My MTV” advertising campaign debuts with Pete Townsend, Stevie Nicks,
Mick Jagger, Adam Ant, Pat Benatar, the Police and David Bowie.
•May 8th: Huey Lewis plays for the winner of the “MTV House Party” contest at the winner’s home
in Mt. Clemons, Detroit.
•Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” premieres and launches his career
•Creation of ever-changing MTV logo which is now one of the most recognized symbols in
•March: Adam Ant is the first guest VJ.
•March 14th: “Basement Tapes,” a weekly video competition between unsigned bands, makes
•March 31st: Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” has its world premiere on MTV, making it the first video
to be aired by an African American artist.
•June 17th: “MTV Party Plane with the Police” contest begins airing on MTV. Winner along with
25 friends party aboard the MTV Party Plane on their way to and from a concert with the
•December 2nd: MTV debuts Michael Jackson’s 14-minute “Thriller” film.
•March 13th: Launch first music video countdown show on MTV with “Top 20 Video
Countdown,” establishing a new countdown genre
•July 26th: MTV presents live coverage of the premiere of Prince’s first movie, “Purple Rain.”
•September 14th: The first ever Video Music Awards are hosted by Bette Midler and Dan
Aykroyd. Madonna has legendary “Like a Virgin” performance in which she seduces the
audience rolling around on stage in a wedding gown.
•June 5th: First comedic show on MTV debuts with the “Young Ones.” This show helped
establish a long history of comedy programming and helped establish the careers of many
young comedians over the 25 year history including: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, John
Stewart, Colin Quinn, Bill Belamy, Ben Stiller.
•July 13th: First cause related programming: Drew international attention to “Live Aid,”
seventeen hours of live programming from 2 stadiums on 2 continents air on MTV, with all
proceeds going to African famine relief. Helped kick off additional music related support for
causes by drawing attention to them on air including: Farm Aid, We are the World, Hands
Across America, Amnesty International, Sun City, and more.
•MTV becomes the first television network in the world to air safe sex PSAs
February 17th: MTV debuts the first viewer all-request show with “Dial MTV.”
•MTV begins airing the “Just Say No” anti-drug PSAs produced by the Reagan
Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services
•May 30th: MTV announces its first new VJ since 1981, English-born “Downtown” Julie Brown.
•November 21st: First major public service campaign “Rock against Drugs,” opening an ongoing
dialogue with young people about issues that touch their lives.
•MTV becomes the first network to air AIDS PSAs from Musicians for Life – pop acts that have
banded together to help victims of homelessness, famine, apartheid and the farm crisis
•August 1st: MTV Europe, the continent’s only 24-hour music video network, is launched.
•October 10th: MTV premieres first regularly scheduled expanded news coverage, “Week In
Rock,” a weekly show featuring the latest news about music, fashion, and pop culture. This
premiere marks the kickoff of MTV News.
•December 7th: MTV debuts first of many game shows with “Remote Control,” a pop trivia
game that founded MTV favorites host Colin Quinn and recurring contestant, Adam Sandler
•February 12th: Author and former Rolling Stone editor Kurt Loder joins MTV as anchorperson for
•February 18th: MTV presents first ever global tour with MTV affiliates in Europe, Japan and
Australia for George Michael’s “Faith” tour.
•April 1st: Begin airing voter registration PSA’s, a pre-cursor to MTV’s long standing
commitment to involving young people in the political process.
•June 9th: MTV announces debut of “MTV Internacional,” a weekly hour-long Spanish language
version of MTV airing on the Telemundo Network with Daisy Fuentes and Eddie Trucco.
•August 6th: “YO! MTV Raps” launches to celebrate the emergence of rap music with a
•March 3rd: MTV world premieres Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video.
•March 4th: MTV News debuts “MTV Rockumentary,” an Ace-award winning series which over
the years has profiled the music and careers of over fifty top artists, past and present.
Featured artists have included R.E.M., Eric Clapton, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Michael
Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, B-52’s, Smashing Pumpkins and Bruce Springsteen.
•MTV earns its first Peabody Award with its new approach to covering news with a two-hour
documentary called “Decade” – a show linking music to current events of the 19802.
Segments on racism, AIDS and other newsworthy topics of the decade intermingle with pop
culture and the musings of celebrities.
•June 2nd: “House of Style” debuts, reporting fashion trends and youth culture and
introducing young models (Cindy Crawford, Shalom Harlow, Rebecca Romijn, Amber
Valetta, Daisy Fuentes and Molly Simms) as on–air personalities.
•November 7th: MTV Europe broadcasts first live feed to East Berlin.
•January 21st: “Unplugged” acoustic music series launched – to huge critical acclaim
(Squeeze, Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, Tony
Bennett and Bruce Springsteen).
•January 25th: Launch first-ever international environmental campaign in the U.S, Europe,
Japan and Australia.
•March 13th: MTV Europe expands reach into Middle East with the launch of MTV Europe in
Israel. Also launches in Czechoslovakia and Poland and Kenya.
•June 4th: MTV debuts “Totally Pauly,” a comedy based video show starring comedian Pauly
•October 22nd: MTV Brasil launches a 24-hour terrestrial Portuguese-language network
featuring music videos by Brazilian and international artists.
•September 6th: MTV News presents the first live pre-show leading up to “The MTV Video Music
Awards,” which this year takes place at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. The
program includes in-depth interviews conducted by Kurt Loder with four of the year’s most
notable artists: George Michael, Axl Rose, Jon Bon Jovi and Sinead O’Connor.
•MTV News launches the multi award-winning “Sex In The ’90s,” a series of specials exploring
changing sexual attitudes in America.
•“The Ben Stiller Show” showcases the comedic genius in this weekly behind the scenes look
at the world of TV comedy. Show later goes on to feature up-and-comers Janeane
Garofalo and Andy Dick.
•February 26th: “Rock Line on MTV” premieres one of the first live call-in shows where viewers
call in to chat with their favorite artists.
•March 1st: MTV Europe feed airs in Russia, the first non-Soviet channel to be broadcast 24
hours a day in Russia.
•May 1st: MTV Unplugged presents first ever Acoustic Rap Show. The special featured
performances by L.L. Cool J along with MC Lyte, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.
•June 2nd: MTV breaks into animation with the first ever animated series on the channel
“Liquid Television,” the precursor to such animated hits as “Beavis & Butthead (1993),”
“Daria” (1997) and “Celebrity Death Match” (1998).
•September 29th: Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” premieres putting grunge on the pop
radar and launching an ‘anti-glam rock revolution’.
•December 1st: MTV launches global on-air AIDS awareness campaign with “Respect
Yourself, Protect Yourself.”
•February 10th: MTV kicks-off “My Dinner With Michael,” a global contest where winners from
MTV in the US, Asia, Australia, Brazil, and Europe attend a dinner party hosted by Michael
Jackson on the set of his latest music video “In The Closet.” MTV receives over 4.1 million
•March 11th: “MTV Unplugged” airs with Eric Clapton. The show receives the highest rating ever
received to date by an episode of the “MTV Unplugged” series. This is Clapton’s first live
performance since the tragic death of his son, Conor, one year earlier.
•May 21st: First reality-based program ever debuts with the “Real World” the precursor to a
slew of reality shows on other networks
•June 10th: Launch of the MTV Movie Awards, an irreverent take on traditional award
ceremonies with unconventional categories. Dennis Miller hosts the inaugural show.
•MTV officially launches the MTV News Specials Division dedicated to producing
programming which focuses on issues of interest and relevance to young adults uniquely
told from their point of view.
•June 16th: “Choose or Lose” launches and is widely credited with helping engage young
people in the political process and giving them a voice in the debate. Highlights include a
Town Hall discussion with then candidate Bill Clinton and interview with then President Bush.
Choose or Lose continues in 1996 with the grass roots Choose or Lose Bus, and in 2000 with
the Choose or Lose Street Team.
•August 25th: “MTV Unplugged” with Eric Clapton is released on compact disc, laser disc,
cassette and home video by Reprise Records/Warner Reprise Video. In three weeks, the
album goes platinum and the home video goes gold. MTV wins Grammy for Album of the
year, best rock vocal performance, male.
•November 1st: Tabitha Soren interviews President Bush on the “Spirit of America,” a whistle stop
train tour throughout Wisconsin. At the same time, Kurt Loder interviews Independent
Presidential candidate Ross Perot in Tampa, Florida, during a 30-minute election wrap-up
special “Choose Or Lose: The Home Stretch.”
•News Correspondent Tabitha Soren wins a Peabody Award for her edgy coverage of the
’92 Presidential Election
•December 22nd: Bill Bellamy, one of the hot young comics featured in HBO’s “Russell Simmons’
Def Comedy Jam” stand-up comedy series, joins the network as the host of “MTV Jams,”
MTV’s music series featuring the hottest R&B and hip hop clips.
•January 20th: MTV Rock “N Roll Inaugural Ball takes place in Washington DC kicking off
Clinton’s Presidency. Clinton’s presence at the event helps put MTV on the map with
•March 2nd: Partially in response to the polarizing race riots that followed the Rodney King
verdict the previous April, MTV launches Free Your Mind – a yearlong campaign to fight
intolerance. The campaign launches with Straight From the Hood – a 30-minute show that
looked what lay beneath the images in the news of the race riots in South Central.
•March 8th: MTV debuts “Beavis and Butt-Head,” an original animated series starring two
suburban misfits. Created by Mike Judge, the show is the first spin-off from MTV’s awardwinning
animated variety series, “Liquid Television.”
•June 5th: MTV unveils the first “MTV Beach House,” the summer-long backdrop for many of
MTV’s regular programs.
•October 1st: MTV Latin America launches a 24-hour Spanish-language network. With
regional headquarters in Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Mexico City, and operating
headquarters in Miami, the network offers three services – North, South, and Central –
allowing the network to customize its programming according to the taste of viewers in
•October 25th: Launch of the “Jon Stewart Show,” networks first foray into talk show arena.
• January 10th: MTV launches Enough is Enough – a multi-pronged effort in which celebrities
join young writers and tastemakers in a series of televised panel discussions on the
implications of violence. MTV News covers topics such as the justice system, prison life and
grassroots anti-violence campaigns, while award-winning animated PSAs encourage
nonviolent ways to resolve conflicts. The initiative comes after several crime bills are passed
regarding assault weapons. Bill Clinton is a key player and participant.
•May 15th: MTV pays tribute to the music of Nirvana in the wake of the suicide of the band’s
composer and lead singer Kurt Cobain. The special programming hosted by Kurt Loder
features rare performances and videos, reactions from fans around the world, and more.
•June 23rd: “The Real World” premieres its 3rd season. This San Francisco based season
features the memorable Pedro Zamora, an openly gay male who publicly copes with HIV.
This marked a first for television. Pedro soon after lost his battle with AIDS.
•August 12-14: MTV devotes the entire weekend of the Woodstock ’94 Festival to coverage
of the live performances and audience participation live from Saugerties, NY.
•September 8th: Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley defy speculations that their romance
‘wouldn’t last’ by making out on stage in front of millions of viewers at the Video Music
•October 12th: MTV airs a one-time televised reunion with “Jimmy Page/Robert Plant
(Unledded)” of the legendary band, Led Zeppelin.
•October 26th: MTV premieres “The Eagles: Hell Freezes Over.” This show marks the first time
since 1980 that the band members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder, Joe Walsh and
Timothy B. Schmit perform together.
•November 24th: Tom Jones hosts the first annual MTV European Music Awards live at the
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, extending the VMA franchise overseas.
•April 17th: MTV launches a national television advertising campaign featuring “Jimmy the
Cab Driver.” The campaign is composed of ten spots which look at different elements of
the wonderful world of MTV from Jimmy’s perspectiv e. Viewers are invited along for the ride
as Jimmy shares his philosophy on MTV programming and life with hapless passengers in his
•April 21st: MTV announces the launch of its sixth international network, MTV Mandarin. The
channel is targeted at 12-34 year-old Chinese audiences in Taiwan, China, Singapore and
•May 5th: MTV announces the launch of its seventh international network, MTV Southeast
Asia. The customized 24-hour English-language channel is targeted to 12-34 year-old
audiences in Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore.
•June 5th: MTV premieres “Singled Out,” the ultimate relationship show where contestants get a
chance to choose their ideal mate from a studio audience of 100 men and women. The
show is hosted by Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy.
•June 28th: MTV debuts the fourth season of “The Real World,” from London, featuring the series’
first international group of seven young adults ages 18-24. The cast members come from
the United States, Germany, Australia and England.
•July 17th: MTV News premieres “Unfiltered,” handing cameras to the viewer to document
their lives in their voice.
•October: MTV.com is launched, bringing MTV to the World Wide Web.
•The first MTV Video Music Brazil Awards are held in Sao Paulo, Brazil
•October 12th: “MTV Books” launches and establishes a best selling track record with the
“Real Real World” and “MTV’s Beavis & Butthead: This Book Sucks” both on NYT best seller
• July 26th: MTV Productions first theatrical release “Joe’s Apartment”. Inspired by a MTV liveaction,
animated short about a man living in New York in a roach infested apartment.
Actor Jerry O’Connell is Joe and John Payson directs. This marks the first film released under
the MTV Films brand.
•August 1st: Sister channel MTV2 (formerly known as M2) launches to compliment MTV.
•“MTV Yak Live” launches, one of the first live talk shows where viewers could chat online
with artists and each other.
•MTV India launches as a 24-hour Hindi and English language channel. MTV India’s
programming consists of 70% Indian film and pop music, and 30% international music videos.
•December 9th: MTV debuts “Loveline,” a late nightly show where audience members and
viewers around the country get laughs and advice about love, sex and other assorted
problems of the heart. “Loveline” is hosted by popular radio talk show personalities Adam
Carolla and practicing physician Dr. Drew Pinsky.
•December 20th: Beavis and Butthead Do America, inspired by the hit series, had the biggest
opening weekend in December history. The hugely successful animated feature grossed
more than $70 million at the box office world-wide.
•January 27th: MTV premieres “Daria,” MTV’s first full-length animated sitcom. The show
chronicles the experiences of 16-year-old, Daria Morgendorffer, a girl who’s a little too smart
and a little too funny to blend in at school.
•MTV Nordic launches as an English-language channel, which can be seen in Sweden,
Denmark, Norway, Estonia, the Faeroe Islands, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania.
•September 3rd: MTV Studio opens in Times Square providing a home base for production
and a huge forum for connecting fans to music and the artists they love.
•September 4th: The VMAs feature a special collaborative performance by Puff Daddy and
Sting singing Puffy’s tribute song to Notorious BIG “I’ll be Missing You”.
•“MTV Live” launches from the Times Square Studio – the first daily interactive live show on
the network which evolves into the wildly successful “Total Request Live.”
•“Head Bangers Ball’ weekly series launched, super-serving heavy metal music fans
•October 14th: MTV launches “Live from the 10 Spot”, the network’s first weekly live performance
series. The show will feature a wide variety of artists such as The Dave Matthew’s Band,
Prodigy and premiering with The Rolling Stones.
•MTV Europe goes local: MTV UK & Ireland launches as a channel.
•MTV Italia launches in Italy
•MTV Germany launches a German-language channel which is seen free-to-air in Germany
and also services the German speaking territories of Austria & Switzerland
•MTV Australia launches with a mix of local and international music-based programming
•February 22nd: MTV debuts “Ultra Sound”, a new weekly music based documentary series
about the bands and musicians that shape the music scene of today. The show features an
in-depth look at today’s artists — those up and coming and trends and controversies which
affect the music industry.
•March 31st: MTV airs “True Life”, a weekly documentary series which focuses on the lives and
concerns of young adults. The first episode, entitled “True Life: Fatal Dose,” investigates the
rise of heroin use among young people and focuses on the small community of Plano,
•April 13-14th: First ever “I Wanna Be a VJ” search takes place. Viewers get to pick the next
VJ to be on air. Jesse Camp is the winner and gets to sign a 1-year contract with the
•May 14th: MTV debuts a new weekly clay animated series,” Celebrity Deathmatch”. Each
episode features three fantasy fights where clay figure renderings of the biggest celebrities
from the worlds of music, TV and film are pitted against each other in a ring.
•Launch “Fanatic” where viewers get to meet their idols.
•“Making the Video” premieres, taking music video programming to the next level for a new
generation of viewers. This show gives a behind the scene look at the complete videomaking
•MTV officially launches in Russia.
•MTV2 launches in the UK on the internet and digital TV
•September 14th: MTV premieres first episode of TRL with Carson Daly as the host. TRL is the first
truly interactive television show, utilizing the synergy of the internet and television, making it
the only show on MTV – and for that matter all of TV programmed by the viewers.
•October 22nd: A TRL studio visit from the Backstreet Boys causes Times Square to be shut
down due to the number of fans anxiously awaiting the chance of a peak at the group.
•November 6th: MTV kicks off new anti-violence initiative “Fight for Your Rights: Take A Stand
Against Violence”. Campaign later goes on to win an Emmy Award.
•MTV Europe, in association with UNAIDS and the World Bank produces “Staying Alive,” a halfhour
documentary focusing on the experience of six young people, each from six different
countries and each uniquely affected by HIV and AIDS. Hosted by George Michael and
awarded a special Emmy called “The Ribbon of Hope,” the show broadcast on World AIDS
Day. This marks the launch of the “Staying Alive” campaign, an unprecedented global
media campaign that harness the full range of Viacom’s global media assets to foster
awareness and prevention of HIV and AIDS.
•January 15th: Varsity Blues opens with the biggest opening weekend in January history
•January 25th: MTV premieres new series “The Tom Green Show” featuring Canadian comedian
•March 25th: Ricky Martin starts a Latin infiltration when “La Vida Loca” sweeps the TRL charts
•April 23rd: Election, starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick got an Oscar
nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.
Reese Witherspoon was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an
Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
•May 27th: Marilyn Manson gives the first interview to MTV News after the controversy
surrounding him relevant to the Columbine Tragedy.
•June 7th: MTV launches the popular brand imaging campaign “The Jukka Brothers,” featuring
spots about the four Jukkas who live in the woods and consider themselves experts on what
is cool because they watch MTV all day long.
•July 16th: The Wood, a funny, poignant coming-of-age movie, showcased the unique talents
of up-and-coming writer/director Rich Famuyiwa.
•July 26th: MTV premieres new series “Undressed.” From the acclaimed director Roland Joffe,
“Undressed” looks at intimate relationships between three fictional couples and what
happens in their most intimate and defining moments. Rather than following a traditional
beginning-middle-end narrative sequence as was the norm of the time, each story line
went straight to the epicenter of the dramas. Each story line had its own life span, some
lasting for only two episodes, while others unfolded over the course of four or five, making
the show’s format unique.
•August 1st: MTV Hits launches providing fans with all-music all the time
•August 1st: MTV and acclaimed producer Arnold Shapiro produce a sequel to the Academy
Award winning documentary, “Scared Straight.” “Scared Straight 99” is hosted by Chris
Connelly, with 12 juvenile delinquents meet with a group of lifers for a grueling 3 hours.
•September 10th: For the first time since their sons’ brutal and mysterious murders, Afeni Shakur
and Voletta Wallace, mothers of rap icons Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Notorious BIG”
Wallace, reunite on stage at the VMAs with a hug and the announcement of reconciliation.
•November 1-5th: MTV celebrates “Spankin’ New Music Week” with appearances by Will Smith,
Mariah Carey, Rage Against the Machine, Dr. Dre, and Korn.
•November 29th: MTV premieres the first music trivia game show WebRIOT. Tens of thousand
of online contestants go head-to-head against on-air contestants with Ahmett Zappa
•December 29th: MTV helps ring in the new millennium with the “FLY 2K” Millennium Party
Plane. Lucky contest winners from around the world are joined by Universal Recording
artists 98 Degrees for the ultimate trip around the globe aboard MTV’s customized party
plane. Included on “FLY 2K’s,” itinerary are such exotic locations as Rome, Paris and
Comedy Central Sweden was launches on 1 January
Nickelodeon Denmark 12 hour programming black was launches on 12 January
MTVNHD launches in Holland on 1 February. MTVNHD, is MTVNI’s first international high-definition service dedicated to music and kids, consisting of original productions and programming acquired from third-party content providers, as well as from MTVNI’s own multi-branded library.
MTV 4.0 – PUSH to airs globally on 2 February
MTV 4.0 – WORLD STAGE premieres on 27 February
Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) and Zara partnered on the launch of a new range of urban-inspired men’s t-shirts and hoodies called, Streetmuse, by MTV on 02 March.
MTVNHD launches in Belgium, Netherland and Russia on 3 March. MTVNHD, is MTVNI’s first international high-definition service dedicated to music and kids, consisting of original productions and programming acquired from third-party content providers, as well as from MTVNI’s own multi-branded library.
MTV Networks Latin America announces the opening of its new office in Buenos Aires, Argentina; which will serve as the company’s headquarters in the region as well as a creative center (Design Studio) for both Latin America and MTV Networks International (MTVNI). This opening completes MTVNLA’s successful regionalization process on 18 March.
‘Yes, Yes, Yes – To Safe Sex’ MTV Networks International (MTVNI), and The Body Shop announced the launch of their new worldwide multimedia campaign to raise awareness and funds for MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation which supports HIV and AIDS education campaigns at grassroots levels. ‘Yes, Yes, Yes – To Safe Sex’, is the most creative and innovative to date, spanning over 50 countries and reaching millions of under-25 year olds on 23 March.
MTV launches in Switzerland on 01 April
Nickelodeon launches in Switzerland on 01 April
Nick Jr. launches in Germany 01 April
Comedy Central launches in New Zealand 01 April
Paramount Comedy re-launches in the UK 06 April
“Cherry Girl” MTV Networks International (MTVNI), announced the launch of new environmental global initiatives through its MTV Switch campaign to coincide with Earth Day
which includes the introduction of an intriguing online personality, Cherry Girl, and the release of new rights-free programming, airing on MTVs around the world on 22 April
MTV Mobile launches in Malta on 23 April
“Crispy News” celebrity driven news pill which will be available on all of MTV’s international platforms daily. Two minute news-in-brief style bulletin updates will adopt an ironic, tongue-in-cheek tone and air throughout the day launches on 04 May
“The Swatch MTV Playground” MTV Networks International (MTVNI) and Swatch have joined forces to produce a major new global art and design ‘playground’ across Europe and Asia. Swatch MTV Playground will give the future stars of the art scene the chance to share their visions and ideas by uploading their work onto www.swatchmtvplayground.com, a unique web gallery in nineteen languages and featuring the best work from up and coming artists launches on 05 May
“Beta Life” MTV Networks International (MTVNI), Nokia, 20th Century Fox, Fox Mobile Group and Channel 4, in five markets; UK, US, Germany, India and Japan, reveals new research into youth attitudes towards digital technology and media consumption providing new insight into their relationships with brands and purchase decisions. The study, A Beta Life Youth, conducted on behalf of MTV Networks International, amongst 12-24 year olds, throws light on the real importance of technology and media for youth launches on 05 May.
MTV @ the Movies launches 29 June. It is dedicated wholly to the exciting world of film and the latest blockbuster releases on cinema screens. Each voiceover-led, clip-driven episode will run in a two part, 30 minute dose and will focus on the latest movie news and gossip. The show will also feature a mix of exclusive interviews with the stars and crew of the most recent releases, as well as reviews of the most up-to-date DVD rentals, a look at upcoming attractions and information about competitions. Each edition will also include a ‘Top 5’, sometimes irreverent, countdown for that particular month. From the funniest movie moments of the month to the most exciting new talent, the show will offer all the highlights viewers need to know about. MTV at the Movies launches across Latin America and Asia – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. It can also be seen on MTV’s Adria and European feeds, MTV Arabia and in Austria, the Baltics, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UK and Ireland.
MTV Networks International relaunches under “One Look & One Feel” on 01 July. Inspired collaboration between the World Design Studio in Milan, the seven regional design studios from all around the world, along with the innovative UK based agency, Universal Everything, has resulted in creative genius! The new look and feel provides consistency between our on-air, off-air and online platforms, and solidifies MTV’s position as the #1 entertainment destination for today’s multi-tasking, digitally fluent users.
Nickelodeon Asia launches Chinatoon 05 July. Chinatoon is a 1-hour block dedicated to showcasing original Chinese animation. Debuting July 5th on Nickelodeon Asia, ChinaToon will premiere with two acclaimed animation series, Creative Power Entertaining Co., Ltd Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf and Zhejiang Zhongnan Group Animation Video Co., Ltd’s Magic Wonderland, broadcast to 13 territories across Asia. As the premier original Chinese animation block created by an international broadcaster, ChinaToon becomes the first region-wide platform for Chinese animators to showcase their programming to vast audiences across the region.
MTVNHD launches in Germany, Hungary and Switzerland on 13 July. MTV Networks International announced the ongoing expansion of its first international high-definition service, MTVNHD, with new launches in Germany (Deutsche Telekom), Hungary (Hello HD) and Switzerland (Quickline). From July, UK cable operator, Virgin Media, and Russian DTH platform, NTV Plus, are also slated to launch MTVNHD, bolstering the channel’s existing distribution in the UK & Ireland (Sky) and Russia (Platforma). MTVNHD, which launched in September 2008, is currently available in 21 countries worldwide (Argentina, Belgium, Caribbean Islands, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, Uruguay, UK & Ireland) and MTVNI plans to expand the channel’s reach to another eight countries including Austria, Brazil, Croatia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Spain by the end of the year. MTVNHD is MTVNI’s first international high-definition service dedicated to music and kids, consisting of original productions and programming acquired from third-
party content providers, as well as from MTVNI’s own multi-branded library. In 2009 alone, the total number of premiere hours will reach 443, including 291 native HD hours.
MTVMusica.com launches in Spain and Portugal on 14 July
Impact Productions launches in our Emerging Markets region on 16 July. Headquartered in Warsaw, with an additional office based in Budapest, Impact Productions will produce original content for MTVNI’s portfolio of channels including VIVA, VH1 and its MTV brands including MTVNHD, MTVNI’s first international music and kids HD service which is run on behalf of the entire network by the company’s Emerging Markets Group. Additionally, Impact Productions will produce on air content for third parties.
MTVMusica.com launches in Latin America on 27 July
MTV Czech launches on 29 November. TV Nova and MTV Networks International announced MTV Czech will be available to both Czech and Slovak audiences via cable, satellite and IPTV platforms. MTV is a leading multimedia brand for youth and MTV Czech will be offered as part of TV Nova’s family of terrestrial and cable entertainment and thematic channels. Following Nova Cinema and Nova Sport, MTV Czech will become the third thematic channel in the family of TV Nova. MTV Czech is the 69th MTV channel to launch further expanding MTVNI’s global network covering 162 countries.
Updated as of August 20, 2009 at 10:55 am
•February 21st: MTV’s Original TV Movies Division premieres “2gether”, a hilarious peek into the
world of pop music. “2gether” is a light-hearted parody following the overnight creation
and sensation of a fictional boy-band.
•August 18th: The Original Kings of Comedy, directed by Spike Lee, stars Cedric the
Entertainer, Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, and D.L. Hughley in a documentary concert film
capturing the comic geniuses behind the “Kings of Comedy” tour. This film was Spike Lee’s
highest grossing opening weekend to date, earning more than $11 million on just 847
•September 7th: Britney Spears strips away her squeaky-clean image at this year’s VMA’s with
her famous “Oops…I Did it Again” performance.
•October 1st: MTV premieres “Jackass,” a weekly comedy show that features silly pranks and
ridiculous stunts performed by total jackasses. This widely popular show spurred spin-off
series, “Wildboyz” and “Viva la Bam”.
•MTV France launches, a subtitled version of the MTV European service for French speaking
viewers, servicing France and Monaco as well as the French speaking territories of Belgium
•MTV launches in Poland and The Netherlands
•MTV Espana launches, a Spanish-language music channel, which reaches Spain, The
Balearics, and the Canary Islands.
•MTV Netherlands launches as a way of increasing MTV’s relevance to Dutch viewers by
introducing local content and language.
•January 10-11th: MTV Kicks off it’s newest pro-social campaign “Fight For Your Rights: Take A
Stand Against Discrimination.” As part of the launch, MTV premieres “Anatomy of a Hate
Crime.” The film explores and documents the different sides of the story behind the vicious
attack and murder of college student Matthew Shepard on the morning of October 6, 1998.
MTV partners with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), to connect
viewers with ways to fight discrimination and make a difference in their communities and
the launch MTV goes dark by shutting down its airwaves for the first time ever in the channel’s 20 year history
and running a scroll listing the names of hundreds of people who have been victims of
various hate crimes across the country. The scroll runs continuously and without commercial
interruptions for more than 17 hours straight.
•January 12th: Save the Last Dance had the second biggest January opening weekend in
history at over $27 million. Grossing more than $121 million worldwide, Save the Last Dance
told the story of a promising ballet student who gives up dancing and moves into the city
with her estranged father after her mother’s tragic death.
•March 10th: MTV presents a new music performance event “mtvICON,” honoring artists who
have made a significant contribution to music, music video, and pop culture, while
tremendously impacting the MTV generation over their careers.
•May 2nd: MTV announces its first ever TRL Tour, which is the ultimate opportunity for music
fans across the country to be a part of the wildly successful Total Request Live by
experiencing a full concert of great music and unmatched performances by some of
today’s hottest artists.
•MTV launches in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Canada and Philippines
•MTV Networks International, along with Levi’s Jeans and YouthAIDS, launches two historic
HIV/AIDS awareness Staying Alive concerts in Cape Town, South Africa and Seattle, USA.
Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, Dave Matthews, and others perform.
•January 11th: Orange County features a wildly dysfunctional family and a brain-dead
college counselor who has derailed Shaun’s (Colin Hanks) plans to attend Stanford
University. He has 24 hours to turn things around and prevent his college dreams from
•February 2nd: MTV2’s “$2 Bill” concert series kicks off with The Strokes in Los Angeles. $2
concerts continue across the country on the 2nd of each month featuring India Arie, Alien
Ant Farm, Jimmy Eat World and more.
•February 14th: MTV premieres “Be Heard: An MTV Global Discussion w/Colin Powell”
featuring audiences from the US, India, Middle East, UK/Ireland, Brazil, and Russia.
•February 15th: Crossroads was Britney Spears’ theatrical debut chronicling the story of three
childhood friends who, after eight years apart, rediscover their friendship on a cross-country
•March 5th: MTV presents the first family of Rock-N-Roll: “The Osbournes.” The new show
follows the real-life drama of the first family of rock-n-roll, the Osbournes, as they deal with
everyday life in southern California.
•“The Osbournes” receives a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Reality)
•April 11th: Better Luck Tomorrow traces the double lives of over-achieving teenagers whose
ambition combines with the tedium of suburban life and produces explosive results.
•MTV Live, Europe’s first 24-hour service made specifically for PC Broadband technology,
launches in Sweden through an agreement between MTV Nordic and Telia. The music
service focuses exclusively on MTV’s archive of live performances.
•The first MTV Asia Awards are held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Hosted by Ronan
Keating and Mandy Moore, performers include Pink, Westlife, and Na Ying.
•The first MTV Video Music Awards Japan are held at the Tokyo Kokusai Forum in Tokyo.
Hosted by Japanese comedic duo London Boots, the performers include Jay-Z, Oasis and
•August 29th: MTV favorite Jimmy Fallon opened up the VMAs with a montage parody of of the
year’s notable artists including Enrique Iglesias, Nelly and the White Stripes
•September 24th: The first MTV Video Music Awards Latin America are held in Miami at the
Jackie Gleason Theater. Hosted by Mario Perfolini and Diego Luna, Performers include Avril
Lavigne, Café Tacuba and Shakira.
•TRL kicks off annual week-long back to school special “TRL @ Your School”, setting up camp
and broadcasting live from the high school of one lucky viewer, bringing along the VJs,
celebrity guests and hot performances.
•October 25th: Jackass: the Movie has grossed over $80 million at the box office. Featuring
the original creators and cast of the hugely successful “Jackass” series, the film features
jackasses performing their wildly absurd signature antics and pushing the envelope even
further with a slew of brand-new silly pranks and outrageous stunts.
•“TRL” receives a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Directing. The
show receives the same nomination the following year.
•MTV Latin America launches the first MTV Mexico Movie Awards
•MTV Romania hosts the first MTV Romania Music Awards at the Palace Hall in Bucharest
•MTV Portugal, MTV brand new (Italy) and MTV HITS (Italy) launch
•MTV launches in Indonesia and Romania
•January 11th: The “Made” series premieres, giving hopeful teens the proper tools to be
made into the prom queen/football star/karate champion they’ve always wanted to be.
•March 17th: Prankster series “Punk’d” premieres led by Ashton Kutcher
•March 26th: MTV Guandong launches in a milestone breakthrough as the only global brand
to launch a 24-hour service in China, broadcasting in the Guangdong Province of Southern
•May 9th: MTV2 premieres “Subterranean”, the evolution of the former “120 Minutes” series
which introduces up-and-coming college radio-style alternative music to MTV’s audience.
•June: MTV2 kicks off “Sucker Free Sunday”, the biggest franchise and signature hip-hop
music block and powerhouse featuring the best hip-hop, R&B and soul music videos
including MTV2’s Hip-Hop Countdown, behind the scenes looks at the making of videos and
albums, interviews with artists, a look at the future starts of Hip-Hop and more.
•August 19th: “Newlyweds” premieres following the lives of pop icons Jessica Simpson and
•August 28th: In a performance that paid homage to Madonna’s 1984 “Like a Virgin”,
Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera took the stage at the VMAs and sealed
their performance with the kiss seen round the world.
•November 7th: Tupac Resurrection – depicts the life and struggles of the legendary rapper
from his own words and point of view. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best
•Launch of “20 Million Loud”, a pro-social initiative whose objective was to register 20 million
young voters in anticipation for the then-upcoming presidential election. The goal was
exceeded. Nearly 22 million 18-30 year olds were inspired to register to vote, the largest
youth voter turn around in 20 years.
•January: mtvU launches new series, “Stand In” which brings global icons into college
classrooms to guest lecture for a day. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, Bill Gates,
Madonna, Sting, and Senator John McCain are just a few of the global icons who have
participated. The series later goes on to earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding
Achievement in Content for Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms. Jesse Jackson kicked off the
show surprise teaching a class on racism and law at Spelman College.
•January 20th: mtvU launches: an on-air, online, wireless and on campus network created by
and for the college audience
•March 4th: In true rags to riches fashion, newly launched series “Pimp my Ride” takes young
automotively-challenged fans and turns their jalopies into pimped out masterpieces.
•April 7th: On the 11th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide, mtvU launches its
Sudan campaign, designed to give college students the tools to help end the genocide
taking place in Darfur
•April 13th: TRL premieres the first annual “TRL Awards” giving the fans the power to pick all
their favorites of the year
•June 11th: Napoleon Dynamite, a new kind of hero complete with a tight red ‘fro, some
choice moon boots, and skills that can’t be topped, grossed over $36 million at the box
•MTV picks up a Daytime Emmy for “Britney in the Zone & Out All Night” — Outstanding
Achievement in Single Camera Editing
•August 29th: VMAs are held in Miami, the first time in the show’s history that it was not held in
either New York or Los Angeles.
•September 28th: “Laguna Beach” debuts, a pioneer “docu-drama’ that explores the lives
beautiful teenagers living a privileged life in a small, wealthy beachside community. The
success of this series spurred the spin-off series, “The Hills”.
•November 5th: The mtvU Woodie Awards, the only awards honoring those artists voted best
by the college audience, becomes the first award show to ever premiere on broadband
(mtvU Uber at mtvU.com) prior to on-air broadcast.
•January 7th: MTV Networks launches 3G video services on Verizon Wireless including music
video programming and original content. Original ringtones and content offers users unique
new choices in wireless entertainment
•March 27th: The Longest Yard remade the 70’s Burt Reynolds film about prison football, now
starring Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds and Chris Rock.
•April 6th: Launch of MTV Overdrive, an interactive hybrid network featuring short-form
programming, music, news, and access to exclusive content, launches.
•May 17th: “ThinkMTV”, a pro-social initiative focusing on education, sexual health,
discrimination, the environment, and global concerns, is launched.
•June 21st: Coach Carter stars Samuel L Jackson who benches his undefeated basketball
team due to their collective poor academic record
•July 8th: MTV Film Murderball nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary
•July 12th: Launch of first MTV World Channel, MTV Desi, a channel created to meet the
needs and interests of the young South Asian audience.
•July 22nd: Hustle and Flow – Film goes on to win an Academy award for song, “It’s Hard out
Here for a Pimp”; Terrance Howard picks up a nomination for an Academy Award for Best
Actor in a Leading Role.
•September 2nd: MTV, VH1, & CMT launch the special “ReAct Now: Music & Relief” in
response to the damage and devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This multi-artist, mulit-genre,
multi-platform special was aired to promote volunteerism and donated its proceeds to The
American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and America’s Second Harvest.
•September 23rd: Aeon Flux, a film based on the animated cult favorite from MTV, “Aeon
Flux”, is a story set 1,000 years in the future and stars Academy Award-winning actress
•October 10th: mtvU Über makes mtvU the first MTV Networks channel distributed in its entirety
via broadband, streaming 24/7 and on demand at mtvU.com
•November 9th: Get Rich or Die Tryin’, chronicling the life and trials of rapper 50 Cent
•December 6th: Launch of MTV Chi, a music-centric pop culture destination featuring,
among others, Mandarin rock, Chinese hip-hop, Canto pop well as Mandarin and
Cantonese language programming.
•thinkMTV and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered to form think: Education – an
ongoing campaign that utilizes all MTV platforms to inform and empower young people of
the growing need to graduate high school prepared for work, college and citizenship.
•MTV2 premieres “Discover and Download”, a weekly half-hour video program giving
viewers the opportunity to check out the hottest new artists and download their music for
free after every show.
•December 14th: MTV Networks and Amp’d Mobile announced alliance to feature our
programming on mobile devises. The 2 companies will co-develop exclusive original
content for Amp’d Mobile subscribers and also feature popular programming from MTV
•Launch of MTV in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden
•MTV Adria, the first pan-Adriatic music television channel, launches airing to Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia & Montenegro and Macedonia
•Specialized channels are launched in Italy (MTV Flux) and France (MTV Idol and MTV Pulse)
•MTV Latin America launches MTV Revolution, a broadband service based on MTV U.S.’s
•MTV Italy launches MTV on Demand, where users can build video playlists, watch interviews,
live performances, and more.
•MTV Asia repositions its annual awards show as a benefit concert in support of the survivors
of the December 2004 tsunami. MTV Asia Aid takes place at Bankok’s IMPACT Arena in
•MTV Networks launches its 100th channel, MTV base, a locally customized 24 hour channel in
•May 17th: MTV Networks Music Group launches URGE, a digital music service featuring
original and exclusive programming, subscriptions, and a la carte access to more than two
million songs from 110,000 artists in 18 genres.
•March: In light of the extensive damage and devastation from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina,
MTV holds an Alternative Spring Break, partnering with the United Way and sending 100
students down to the Gulf Coast to help efforts to rebuild life.
•MTV Canada launches, debuting across six different platforms including conventional and
specialty channel platforms, mobile, Video on Demand, as well as a newly created
premium broadband service – MTV Overdrive – the first of its kind in Canada.
•April: mtvU and Cisco launch the first ever mtvU “Digital Incubator” development team –
ten student groups funded with $250,000 in grant money and offered a national platform to
pioneer the broadband content of tomorrow.
•April 21st: MTV launches Break the Addiction, a 12-month, 12-step campaign to help end
global warming and mass overconsumption.
•August 31st: First VMA broadcast to also feature an online alternate version of the same
show on MTV Overdrive.
•Launch of MTV Tr3s, an entertainment channel targeting Latin-Americans living in the U.S.
and featuring the biggest names in urban, pop, and rock as well as lifestyle series, MTV
music franchises, and news documentaries that celebrate Latino culture.
•MTV K to launch, the 3rd channel under the MTV World umbrella. Created to super-serve
Korean Americans living in the U.S.
•MTV UK & Ireland launch MTV Overdrive, based on U.S.’s broadband Overdrive technology.
•MTV Korea launches MTV Boombox, a customized on-demand music and entertainment
broadband & mobile community platform in Korea.
•Comedy Central launched in Germany on 15 January 07.
•MTV Networks Australia launched TMF on 1 April 07.
•Comedy Central launched in Holland on 30 April 07.
•Comedy Central Italia launched on 1 May 07, replacing Paramount Comedy.
•TMF Australia launched on 24 May 07
•Viacom and India’s TV18 announced their joint venture, Viacom-18 on 22 May, which will include locally produced programming, MTV Networks, Vh1 and Nickelodeon India.
•MTV Networks Benelux launched three new 24 hour a day channels – Nick Hits, Nick Toons and TMF Pure on 2 August.
•MTV Ukraine launched on 24 August (soft launch), 3 September (hard launch)
•MTV Hungary launched on 1 October
•MTV Italia launched three new channels on Sky platform: MTV Gold, MTV Pulse and VH1 on 4 October
•MTV Israel launched on 23 October
•MTV Arabia launched in Dubai on 17 November
•MTV Entertainment launched on Premiere Star in Germany on 1 December
•Nick Premium launched on Premiere Star in Germany on 1 December
•MTV BASE launched in France on 21 December
•TMF HD (high definition) launched in Belgium on 12 January
•MTV One replaced MTV Flux in the UK on 1 February
•Nick Jr launched in Holland on 25 January
•BET launched in the UK on 1 March
•VH1 launched in Denmark on 15 March
•Nickelodeon launched in Denmark on 15 March
•Nick Jr launched in Latin America on 1 July
•Nickelodeon launched in Africa on 1 July
•Nickelodeon launched in Poland on 10 July
•Nickelodeon launched in Arabia on 23 July
•MTV2 launched in Canada on 1 August
•Nick Toonsters launched in the UK on 18 August
•Comedy Central Hungary was launched on 1 October
•MTV Greece launched on 6 October