Packing an international programming punch and a homegrown attitude and focus, MTV will make its debut in Canada at 3:30 pm ET on October 18, 2001. More than just music videos, MTV will feature a locally programmed line up reflecting the spirit of Canadian youth culture. MTV in Canada will hit the airwaves with the unveiling of Select, a locally produced and hosted interactive daily countdown show airing from both Vancouver and Toronto.
The rest of the programming will be comprised of over 50% Canadian content, with youth-oriented lifestyle programming alongside content from MTV’s global network of channels. A Canadian-created Web site, mtvcanada.com, will launch simultaneously to the channel, creating an enhanced entertainment experience for Canadian youth. MTV is the world’s leading multimedia brand for youth and can currently be seen in more than 363 million households in 141 countries via 35 channels and 19 Web sites in 17 different languages around the world.
Canada’s MTV is a Canadian digital television network owned and operated by a subsidiary of Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. through a partnership with MTV Networks (a unit of Viacom International Inc.). It is available to all cable, satellite and wireless providers through Cancom and Bell ExpressVu.
“The launch of MTV in Canada marks the multi-national channel’s first foray into the Canadian marketplace,” said Drew Craig, President and CEO of Craig. “Canada is one of the most vibrant music markets in the world, and MTV is perfectly positioned to add value to viewers, advertisers and distributors as we move forward and connect with Canadian youth from coast to coast. ”
“MTV starts from the ground up – local people, local places and local programming,” said Wayne Sterloff, Vice President of Craig’s specialty television networks, adding: “MTV is the place young people turn to for an honest, open dialogue about events and issues that matter to them. ”
MTV is the only global network totally dedicated to young people and what it’s like to be young today. The network plays the biggest hits from the biggest stars and captures the exclusives that matter to its audience. MTV provides youth culture with a global voice based on truly local perspectives.
With half its programming being Canadian content, MTV will be the constant mirror for the attitudes and emotions of the youth audience. MTV will deliver what Canadian youth are looking for, including interactive access to emerging talent in Canada and top stars from around the world, and a safe haven for expressing ideas and attitudes that are important to them.
The Canadian programming lineup will be led by Select, an exclusive daily 90-minute program hosted bi-coastally by Brad Leggatt in Vancouver and Exan AuYoung in Toronto. A highly interactive show that will rely on viewer input for its content, Select will provide viewers the latest music and movie news and feature interviews with some of the world’s biggest stars. In its first week alone Select will feature interviews with The Backstreet Boys and Destiny’s Child.
Both Brad and Exan search out the most stimulating interviews for Select, play the hottest hits in Canada, and at the same time, interact with Canadian viewers in person, via the internet, toll-free phone and by mail. Not afraid of difficult questions or raising serious issues, Brad and Exan will handle it all without losing the irreverent sense of humour that is such an important element of the show.
Other indigenous shows finding a home on the network include X-treme Sports programming such as Fusion 2001 and The Ride Guide among others. Fusion 2001 is a 30-minute high energy, action sports series, showcasing North America’s best extreme sports athletes, events, and festivals. The Ride Guide, North America’s premier snowboarding series, travels to the hottest snowboarding scenes and festivals to catch who and what is hot on the slopes and in the culture. When the snow melts The Ride Guide BMX & Mountain Biking episodes pick up where snowboarding leaves off.
Finally available to Canadian audiences will be highly rated MTV programming from the US like The Real World, Road Rules, Diary, MTV Cribs (where celebrities open their homes to MTV camera crews), Making The Video, and Jackass. As well, the channel will air the MTV Unplugged series of intimate concert performances taped throughout the Nineties. Key MTV-generated specialty programming, such as the MTV Video Music Awards, will make a gradual transition to their home on MTV in Canada.
Part of the success of MTV will be tied in to its Internet presence. mtvcanada.com will launch simultaneously with the network and will be a crucial bookmark for those looking to participate in the development of MTV in Canada and help shape their viewing experience. It will be through MTV’s Canadian portal that fans will be able to vote for their favourite videos, give feedback to the network, enter contests, interact with artists, and offer opinions on important topics of concern. Highly interactive, mtvcanada.com will be an integral part of the overall MTV experience.
Canada’s version of MTV was designed to be the freethinking voice of today’s youth culture. The network will reflect the values embraced by its audience including fun, passion, originality, innovation, trust, respect, attitude and style. Through MTV, viewers will stay connected to the people and world around them and celebrate the new perspectives this broader view brings.
Says Craig Broadcast’s Drew Craig; “MTV is a media brand that is recognized all over the planet. In 2000 it was ranked the number one most valuable brand in the world, and we at Craig are proud to be bringing it to Canada.”