Wednesday, November 29, 2006

MTV To Develop Niche Broadband Channels

MTV NETWORKS MAY HAVE LOST the battle to buy MySpace, but it's still moving ahead with plans to expand online.

Next year MTV plans to roll out some 20 super-niche broadband channels, catering to the narrow interests of its customers. For example, it is developing "Web Junk," which will be a companion channel to the VH1 show, "Web Junk 20," where users can see breaking Web clips.

"Talent Load" will be an audition stage for users who will upload videos, kind of like an "American Idol"--early rounds--for the Web. "Faith & Spirituality" will be a place for young people to congregate and discuss spirituality issues. "World Series of Pop Culture" will be another site, complementing the VH1 game show.

MTV will also seek brand extension for its popular "My Super Sweet Sixteen" show, with a site where users will upload photos and video from their most elaborate parties. For those still yearning for more college humor, "Yo Momma" will offer up a site for all "Yo Mama" jokes.

And in collaboration with actor Jack Black and VH1, a site will be developed for sketch comedy and user-generated content called "Department of Acceptable Media," which can be found at

MTV calls this type of channels "hyper-programmed verticals." Explaining the need for these channels, Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks' Music & Logo Group, said in a release: "Just as MTV networks blazed new territory by establishing linear cable networks built around specific interests and lifestyles, we are now developing new online experiences around niche topics that resonate with our current audiences, as well as those subversive web surfers."


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