Brand to be re-introduced.

CTV and MTV Networks revealed a strategic co-venture to re-introduce the MTV brand in Canada today (Sept. 28).

The co-venture, unveiled by Bell Globemedia president/CEO and CTV CEO Ivan Fecan and MTV Networks vice chairman and MTV Networks International president Bill Roedy, incudes the launch of an MTV-branded analogue specialty channel replacing CTV's talktv in early 2006. The channel is currently available in 4.4 million Canadian households and will continue to have its license condition of 68% Canadian programming (71% during primetime).

Also under the co-venture, there is a commitment to create original Canadian programming for airplay in Canada across numerous CTV platforms and on MTV channels internationally. This will include access to the MTV brand and library of programming for use in Canada across CTV's conventional and specialty services, as well as MTV and CTV executive access to digital media assets in Canada, including online, wireless, interactive and Video On Demand.

Heading the MTV operation in Canada will be GM/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 MTV brand disappeared from Canadian airways following the acquisition of Craig Media in December 2004 by Toronto-based CHUM. MTV Networks International then exercised its right in May 2005 to end its agreement with the Canadian broadcaster. As a result, both MTV and MTV2 ceased to air in Canada on June 30. CHUM affiliate CHUM Television then launched a youth lifestyle channel Razer, as well as a pop music video channel, PunchMuch, in the Canadian cable and satellite channel positions formerly occupied by MTV and MTV2.

"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."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print