CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. and
MTV Networks (MTVN), a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B),
announced today that the two companies have formed a partnership to launch
English language services of TV Land and MTV: Music Television as well as
three additional music genre-based MTV-branded services, specifically created
for Canadian viewers, starting in September 2001. The new 24-hour
advertiser-supported channels will feature a strong line-up of original
Canadian programming as well as award winning content from the U.S. and around
the world. The MTV channels will be complemented by the simultaneous launch
of a locally programmed Web site (http://www.mtvcanada.com) offering
convergent entertainment experiences for Canadian youth. The locally managed
operation will be originated at Craig's newly constructed state of the art
digital playout center in Calgary. An operations team will be announced
shortly, along with launch dates, programming line-ups and additional details
of the MTV genre-based services.
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The launch of TV Land Canada marks the network's first international
venture, and represents a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to the
Canadian market. MTV's partnership with Craig brings the network's total
number of locally customized channels to 35 and marks its 18th localized Web
site. MTV Canada is one of the 16 must carry English-language digital
networks recently approved by the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
"This alliance with Craig is a strategic milestone in the evolution of MTV
Networks and is true to our philosophy of thinking globally while acting
locally," explains Tom Freston, Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks. "The arrival
of TV Land Canada heralds the classic TV channel's international debut and
will offer Canadians the very best classic programming from both Canada and
the U.S. The premiere of MTV Canada across multiple platforms will provide
audiences with an interactive environment to experience MTV's ground-breaking
content, including a mixture of Canadian and international artists, along with
the distinctive global perspective that no other youth entertainment brand can
"We're delighted to bring the best of the MTV and TV Land services to
Canada and to marry them with great Canadian programming on our new digital
channels," said Drew Craig, President and CEO of Craig Broadcast Systems Inc.
"This announcement is terrific news for Canadian viewers, musicians and
independent producers. In addition, the presence of TV Land and four MTV
services also creates a major opportunity for Canada's cable and satellite
companies as they launch enhanced digital television services this fall."
MTV Canada will be a youth oriented lifestyle channel targeting
12-24 year-olds. It will feature a diverse mix of programming genres that
will include animation, drama, movies, and documentaries, with a backbone of
music-based content specifically programmed for Canadian youth.
TV Land Canada will offer viewers a broad mix of Canadian and American
Classic TV programming from all genres over the past 50 years. It will
resemble the on-air format of its American counterpart. The network will
target 25-54 year-old viewers and will offer content from a variety of
distributors, representing both Canadian and American programming.
TV Land, which launched in 1996, is one of the fastest growing cable
networks in the U.S. and is currently available in more than 62 million homes.
The network features a variety of hit programming, including "The Andy
Griffith Show" and "The Love Boat," all packaged in an on-air environment that
celebrates the best of everything television.
MTV: Music Television is the world's leading multimedia brand for youth
and can currently be seen in more than 353 million households in 140 countries
via 31 channels in 17 languages. MTV's international channels are MTV: Music
Television (US), MTV Asia (Southeast Asia, Mandarin, China, India, Philippines
and Korea), MTV Australia, MTV Brasil, MTV Europe (European, Central, Italia,
Nordic, Polska, France, Espana, Netherlands and UK/Ireland), MTV Japan, MTV
Latin America (North, Central & South) and MTV Russia. MTV also has two
separately programmed "free form" music services in the US and Europe, MTV2,
that feature videos from a wide variety of genres, along with a separate MTV2
service in Germany. Digital programming services MTV "X" and MTV "S" are also
available in the US as well as MTV Base, MTV Dance and MTV Hits in Europe.
MTV Live, a PC broadband service, is available in Europe. MTV's holdings also
include 17 locally operated Web sites worldwide as well as publishing, home
video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and a feature film
division, MTV Films. MTV is a trademark of Viacom International Inc.
(NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. is Canada's oldest and largest privately
owned broadcast company. It is a third-generation, family-operated business
which operates conventional independent television stations under the
A-Channel banner in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. A
specialist in start-ups, Craig has recently filed an application with the CRTC
for a license to build a new independent television station to serve Toronto
and Hamilton, Ontario. Craig's wireless division owns and operates Canada's
first digital MMDS System in Manitoba and is beginning to construct its second
Canadian system serving British Columbia. Craig also owns and operates
systems in Palm Springs, California and Honolulu, Hawaii.
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SOURCE MTV Networks/TV Land