MTV Networks is planning a February launch for an African version of its urban music service, MTV Base.

MTV Networks is planning a February launch for an African version of its urban music service, MTV Base. According to MTV Europe, the 24-hour, English-language music TV channel "will reflect the tastes and interests of African youth" via a combination of African and international music videos and locally produced content. MTV's U.K. and U.S. programs such as "Cribs" and "Making the Video" will also be aired.

African music is also set to gain a platform on the channel, which will showcase genres such as kwaito, hip-life, mbalax and zouk. American R&B artists Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, reggae dancehall act Sean Paul and French rappers IAM, Passi and Saian Supa Crew will be among the acts highlighted on MTV Base.

Strong HIV/AIDS messaging from MTV Networks International's "Staying Alive" series will also form part of the content.

The advertiser-supported channel will initially be broadcast via satellite to 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa via multi-channel operators DStv, Trend TV, CTNL and FSTV. DStv is a pay satellite service that currently offers the music channels MTV Europe and Channel O.

At launch, MTV Base expects to reach approximately 1.3 million households.

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