Brand re-introduced via venture with CTV.

Canadian media group CTV Inc. and MTV Networks have announced a strategic co-venture to re-introduce the MTV brand in Canada. MTV has been unavailable in Canada since June 30 of this year.

The co-venture includes the launch in early 2006 of a MTV branded analogue specialty channel replacing CTV's talktv, currently available in 4.4 million Canadian households.

The channel will continue to have its license condition of 68 % Canadian programming.

Also under the co-venture, the two parties have a commitment to create original Canadian programming for airplay in Canada across numerous CTV platforms and on MTV channels internationally.

The agreement also gives access to the MTV brand and library of programming for use in Canada across CTV's conventional, and specialty services; and executive access by MTV to CTV digital media assets in Canada, including online, wireless, interactive and video-on-demand.

Heading the MTV operation in Canada will be GM and senior VP Brad Schwartz, previously director of international marketing partnerships for MTV Networks International in New York. He will now be based in Toronto.

The announcement was made yesterday (Sept. 28) by Ivan Fecan, president/CEO of Bell Globemedia and CEO of CTV Inc., and Bill Roedy, vice chairman, MTV Networks and president, MTV Networks International.

"Canada is a very important market to MTV," says Roedy. "As a source of dynamic debate, diversity and culture, MTV in Canada will reflect a uniquely Canadian perspective to enrich our global operation."

He added, "This is a tremendous milestone in our global expansion, and it's terrific to be partnering with CTV -- their passion, expertise, and credibility are inspiring. We are going to do great things together."

The MTV brand disappeared from Canadian airways following the acquisition of Craig Media Inc. in December 2004 by Toronto-based CHUM Ltd.

MTV Networks International then exercised its right May 10, 2005 to end its agreement with the Canadian broadcaster. As a result both MTV and MTV2 ceased to air in Canada June 30.

CHUM Ltd. affiliate CHUM Television then launched a youth lifestyle channel Razer, as well as a pop music video channel PunchMuch in the channel positions on Canadian cable and satellite formerly occupied by MTV and MTV2.