MTV Networks International has announced plans to significantly expand the company's high definition services across brands through next year with the launch of new channels and programming.
The announcement underscores MTVNI's commitment to providing audiences and cable/satellite operators with premium content and innovative entertainment experiences.
As part of the initiative, Nickelodeon HD will launch as a 24-hour channel in the UK on Sky starting 5th October. This follows the successful UK launch of Comedy Central HD earlier this summer. MTVNI will invest in additional high definition services with the introduction of an international Nickelodeon HD channel in 2011 in markets such as Poland, Russia, Israel and Brazil.
With the launch of Nickelodeon HD next month, the company's first international high definition service MTVNHD, will no longer broadcast a weekend block of Nick programming and will focus exclusively on music-related content. MTVNHD will continue to expand distribution and is expected to be available in 30 countries across four continents by the end of this year. The 24-hour service, which debuted in 2008, is currently available in more than 7 million households with recent launches in Bulgaria and Malta. MTVNHD will expand its library of diverse music programming to more than 1,000 hours by end of 2011, including original and acquired live performances, documentaries and world-class events. Additional carriage deals and programming announcements for MTVNHD will be made in the coming months. For more information, visit http://www.mtvnhd.com.
"With the successful launch and expansion of MTVNHD in less than two years, we are committed to further investment in the high definition medium across our industry leading brands," commented Bob Bakish, President of MTVNI. "These new HD services will create stronger bonds with our kid, youth and adult audiences, as well as provide innovative new products to cable and satellite operators as demand continues to grow. HD will help fuel our long-term creative and business growth as we continue to leverage our global scale and expertise to develop, package and deliver quality content across all platforms."
Mike Darcey, Sky's Chief Operating Officer, comments: "We're delighted to announce the addition of Nickelodeon HD to Sky+HD, the UK's leading high definition service. Sky remains committed to delivering customers the best HD service available, and this means continuing to work with high-quality content partners to launch outstanding channels right across the schedule. With the best of free and pay TV now in HD, there's never been a better time to embrace HD."
Nickelodeon puts kids first in everything it does. The network, which is seen more than 345 million households via 52 channels in 111 countries, showcases a broad array of critically acclaimed animated and live action shows for kids and families. Popular animated series to be seen in HD include Fanboy & Chum Chum and The Penguins of Madagascar. Live action shows in HD include the sitcoms iCarly and Victorious, along with the musical comedy Big Time Rush and action comedy The Troop, among others. The company has built a diverse, multi-platform business that also includes consumer products, online, events, recreation and feature films.
In the UK, Nickelodeon is a joint venture between MTV Networks and BSkyB. Launched in 1993, it is a top performing commercial kids TV network comprised of seven award-winning entertainment channels for kids aged 2-12: Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon HD, NickToons, NickToons Replay, Nick Jr, Nick Jr 2 and Nick Replay. The Nickelodeon network now reaches more than 10 million UK viewers a month and is available in 12.7 million cable and satellite homes. Nickelodeon HD in the UK will be produced and broadcasted by the company's local operation and will be available to all Sky HD customers that currently take the Kids pack as part of their SD subscription package. Additional carriage deals will be announced in the future.
MTVNHD features a diverse array of high quality music videos across numerous genres, along with original and acquired long-form programming. The channel offers weekly link and clip shows, such as MTV Top 20, Uncompressed and Music Alphabet. MTVNHD also showcases the best of MTV and VH1 performance and music documentary series, such as MTV Unplugged, VH1 Storytellers and Life & Rhymes. Premier events such as the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards and VH1 Divas are featured on-air alongside specials from music festivals such as Isle of MTV, Rock Am Ring, Roskilde and Benicassim. Live performances feature music's hottest acts, such as Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, Muse, Lily Allen, The Killers, Kanye West and others.
MTVNHD is operated by MTVNI's Emerging Markets Group, which produces and broadcasts the channel 24 hours a day from its Warsaw hub. The group will also oversee the launch of the international Nickelodeon HD channel starting next year. Drawing on the company's global talent pool, HD programming is also produced by MTV Networks' creative teams in South Europe, Latin America, the UK and US.
VH1 HD is also available in cable and satellite households in Brazil. The channel features music videos and long-form programming such as Storytellers, VH1 Live and Soul Stage.
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