New 24-channel goes live via license deal.

MTV Network International today (Nov. 21) pressed the button on a new 24-hour channel serving the Pakistan market, through a license agreement with local broadcast partner Indus Media Group.

MTV Pakistan replaces Indus Media Group's Indus Music channel, which launched in 2001. The new service claims a reach of 3.5 million households.

The programming mix on MTV Pakistan will be almost "totally locally-driven," explains MTV Networks International president Bill Roedy. "Out of the gate, it will be music-driven and locally-sensitive. Made by Pakistanis, for Pakistanis," Roedy tells Billboard.biz.

Both MTV and affiliated children's channel Nickelodeon are being made available locally on cable and satellite.

Roedy says the new channel augments MTV's overall global vision. "This is about completing the puzzle. It continues our quest of product innovation, launching new products around the world," he explains. "And we're using a model which allows us to expand our reach without investment. Pakistan is one of the fast growth economies in the world and it affords a great source of creativity and content for us."

Pakistan has a predominantly-Muslim population of about 166 million in total. MTV will compete with the market's two existing music channels - Channel G and Musik.

In other news, MTV officially launched its 24-hour channel in Turkey Friday (Nov. 17) with an Istanbul concert featuring the Pussycat Dolls and 12 local acts.

As previously reported, the 24-hour Turkey channel went live Oct. 23 through a license arrangement with Multi-Channel Developers. It represents MTV's first channel in a Muslim country within the MTV Europe network.