Sumner Redstone, chairman/CEO of MTV parent company Viacom, today (Sept. 24) unveiled a series of moves that will expand the group's presence in mainland China, including a strategic partnership with

Sumner Redstone, chairman/CEO of MTV parent company Viacom, today (Sept. 24) unveiled a series of moves that will expand the group's presence in mainland China, including a strategic partnership with Beijing Television for the production of Chinese-language music and entertainment content.

Speaking at a press conference in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Redstone said MTV will triple distribution of its 24-hour MTV China channel in Guangdong Province by the end of the year, bringing the total number of mainland Chinese households reached by the channel to nearly 10 million.

"As the only global brand with a 24-hour channel in China, MTV China's expansion in Guangdong - China's most important regional advertising market - is critical to our business development and paves the way for continued growth of MTV's 24-hour service in China," Redstone said.

He added that MTV China will also launch its first locally produced HIV/AIDS prevention campaign.

Redstone also announced that state-owned broadcaster China Central Television has agreed to extend an agreement for Nickelodeon programming for its first dedicated children's channel, which began airing Nickelodeon animation content in March 2004.

"Partnerships with Chinese companies are central to our long-term strategy, and Viacom's alliances with the two leading regional TV players -- Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and now Beijing Television -- represent a significant commitment to producing high quality, locally produced content for audiences in China and around the world," Redstone said.

Viacom and SMG signed a joint-venture agreement in March to create Chinese-language children's programming for distribution in China and abroad.