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Africa Gets Its MTV Today With the Launch of MTV Base

Date : 02/22/2005 @ 1:01PM
Source : PR Newswire (US)
Stock : Viacom Inc. (VIA)
Quote : 50.66  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM
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Africa Gets Its MTV Today With the Launch of MTV Base

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Africa Gets Its MTV Today With the Launch of MTV Base Pan-African Channel Puts African Artists in the Spotlight JOHANNESBURG, LONDON and NEW YORK, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIANYSE:andNYSE:VIA.B), will today launch MTV base, MTV's first pan-African music television channel. MTV base goes live at 20:00 hrs CAT (Central African Time)/18:00 hrs GMT, beaming to a launch audience of 1.3 million households in sub-Saharan Africa with a specially-composed rap from US hip-hop artist, Xzibit. MTV base, the company's 100th channel worldwide, will be marked by a formal switch-on ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa attended by Bill Roedy, President, MTV Networks International, Alex Okosi, General Manager, MTV Networks Africa, and Nolo Letele, CEO, MultiChoice Africa, in the presence of African artists, Lebo Mathosa, 2 FACE and Zamajobe. "MTV base as the company's 100th channel is the most anticipated launch in our history -- it's our first dedicated African service and takes MTV's global footprint to every region of the world," commented Roedy. "MTV base celebrates the diversity of vibrant music culture across Africa, while offering rich, creative inspiration for MTV's global network." Said MultiChoice Africa CEO Nolo Letele: "MultiChoice Africa has a long standing relationship with MTV Networks Europe and we are proud of our role in helping to build the MTV brand across Africa. In fact, MTV base will complement our existing offering and provide African youth with made-to-order, high quality and relevant African music programming. We welcome another quality MTV channel onboard." MTV base is uniquely crafted and programmed to appeal to young Africans aged 15-34, satisfying their immense appetite for high quality contemporary music content that transcends national borders. The 24-hour music channel will broadcast 'urban' music genres and artists from across the whole African continent, as well as artists from around the world, in a unique editorial mix aimed at providing equal exposure for grassroots African and international music talent. Commented Alex Okosi: "MTV base is designed to celebrate African artists and music, and the music that the young people of Africa love. In keeping with the pan-African remit of the channel, the music policy for MTV base will showcase the creativity and diversity of contemporary music in Africa, giving an international platform to African genres such as Kwaito, Hip-Life, Mbalax and Zouk and putting African artists in the spotlight alongside their international peers." While key longform programming strands on MTV base such as African music documentary series, MTV base Spotlight, will be broadcast in English, the channel aims to play contemporary music videos from all over Africa, including videos broadcast in Swahili, English, French and Portuguese. The first African artist to have their music video featured on the channel, is Nigerian artist 2 FACE, whose iconic "African Queen" will set the standard for other artists to follow. As part of MTV Networks' global commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, MTV base will feature programming from the award-winning, worldwide Staying Alive initiative - including documentaries highlighting stories of young people affected by the epidemic from South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Cote d'Ivoire. Today, MTV base will debut the Save the Humans campaign, a series of four public service announcements (PSAs) airing globally on MTV channels that features a cast of animal characters that have gathered to discuss the global threat of HIV/AIDS - including a South African rhino. In the coming months, MTV base will feature locally produced PSAs and long-form programming as part of the Staying Alive initiative. "Young Africans are leading activists in the fight against the pandemic," continued Roedy, who is also a UNAIDS Ambassador. "MTV base's HIV/AIDS programming will bring to life the tenacity and passion of African youth, who continue to be a guiding force in the global fight against HIV/AIDS." MTV Networks (MTVN) is the first global media company to achieve the 100- channel milestone, having pioneered the business strategy of having a local approach to building a global business. Africa is MTVN's final frontier, giving the company locally customized channels in every region of the world. MTV Networks' multi-media brands include MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, TV Land, Nick at Nite, MTV2, CMT, Spike, Comedy Central, Paramount Comedy Channel, TMF (The Music Factory), Game One, VIVA, and The Box (Holland). MTV base is distributed via an Africa-wide network of cable, satellite and MMDS (Multichannel, Multipoint Distribution System) distribution systems. The channel will also aim to reach a broader mass African audience via branded programming blocks on third party terrestrial broadcasters across Africa. At launch, MTV base will reach approximately 1.3million households in 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa via multi-channel operators DStv, Trend TV, CTL and FSTV. MTV base is a 24-hour pan-African music television channel targeting mass African youth in sub-Saharan Africa. MTV base (Africa) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTV Networks Europe, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc. MTV Networks International includes the premier multimedia entertainment brands MTV: Music Television, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF (The Music Factory), Paramount Comedy and Game One seen in 411.7 million households in 164 countries and 18 languages via 100 locally programmed and operated TV channels and 90 Web sites. The company's diverse holdings also include interests in television syndication, digital media, publishing, home video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and two feature film divisions, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE:VIANYSE:VIA.B). DATASOURCE: MTV Networks CONTACT: AnneMarie Kane, MTV Networks International, In Johannesburg until 24 February, In Nairobi from 24 February until 1 March, Mobile: +1-917-224-1317, , or Glenna Patton, MTV Networks International, +44-20-7478-5274, Mobile +44-7768-610-486, ; or Mark Levine, MTV Networks International, +1-212-846-7241, Web site: http://www.mtv.com/

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