53 Facts About MTV


MTV is an American cable channel that launched on August 1, 1981.

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Since early 2020, MTV has devoted most of its programming schedule to a single program, Ridiculousness, which in June 2020 aired "for 113 hours out of the network's entire 168-hour lineup.

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MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the United States and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have since gone independent.

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MTV tested the format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City's WNBC-TV in the late 1970s.

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MTV sparked the Second British Invasion, featuring existing videos by UK acts who had used the format for several years.

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In 1985, MTV spearheaded a safe-sex initiative, in response to the AIDS epidemic, when it was perceived that many teens might be more receptive to the message there than from their parents.

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MTV began its annual Spring Break coverage in 1986, setting up temporary operations in Daytona Beach, Florida, for a week in March, broadcasting live eight hours per day.

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MTV VJs hosted blocks of music videos, interview artists and bands, and introduced live performances and other programs from the beach house location each summer.

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MTV held week-long music events that took over the presentation of the channel.

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For most of July 13, 1985, MTV showed the Live Aid concerts, held in London and Philadelphia and organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.

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MTV's was brought back in early 1989 and stayed until 1992.

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From 1998 to 2003, MTV aired several other music video programs from its studios.

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MTV aired Hot Zone, hosted by Ananda Lewis, which featured pop music videos during the midday time period.

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Around 1999 through 2001, as MTV aired fewer music videos throughout the day, it regularly aired compilation specials from its then 20-year history to look back on its roots.

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An all-encompassing special, MTV Uncensored, premiered in 1999 and was later released as a book.

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MTV became known for its reality programming, some of which followed the lives of musicians; The Osbournes, a reality show based on the everyday life of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne and his family premiered in 2002 and would become one of the network's premiere shows.

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Simultaneously, MTV spawned the paranormal reality tv genre with the broadcast of MTV's Fear in 2000.

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The block would rebrand as Music Feed in 2013 with a reduced schedule and, unlike FNMTV, featured many full-length music videos, news updates, interviews, and performances.

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MTV would continue to air music programming over the next decade, with the return of MTV Unplugged in 2009, the debut of 10 on Top in May 2010, and Hip Hop POV on April 12, 2012.

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The temporary shift in MTV's programming culminated the following week with the channel's live coverage of Jackson's memorial service.

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MTV aired similar one-hour live specials with music videos and news updates following the death of Whitney Houston on February 11, 2012, and the death of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys on May 4, 2012.

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On that same day, immediately after the death of Prince, MTV interrupted its usual programming to air Prince's music videos.

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MTV launched on August 1, 1981, with an extended network ID featuring the first landing on the moon, which was a concept of Seibert's executed by Buzz Potamkin and Perpetual Motion Pictures.

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Around this time, MTV introduced a static and single color digital on-screen graphic to be shown during all of its programming.

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On June 25, 2015, MTV International rebranded its on-air look with a new vaporwave and seapunk-inspired graphics package.

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Many have suggested that MTV made an attempt to be relevant in the modern entertainment world with the rebrand.

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On February 5, 2021, MTV began to use a revised logo in tandem with the 2010 version, doing away with the 3D effect inherited from its predecessors.

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MTV was the major influence on the growth of music videos during the 1980s.

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MTV refused other black artists' videos, such as Rick James' "Super Freak", because they did not fit the channel's carefully selected album-oriented rock format at the time.

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Network's director of music programming, Buzz Brindle, told an interviewer in 2006: "MTV was originally designed to be a rock music channel.

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On September 28, 2016, on an AfterBuzz TV live stream, Scout Durwood said that MTV had a "no appropriation policy" that forbid her from wearing her hair in cornrows in an episode of Mary + Jane.

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MTV's said, "I wanted to cornrow my hair, and they were like, 'That's racist.

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Magyar Televizio, Hungary's public broadcaster who has a trademark on the initials MTV, registered with the Hungarian copyright office, sued the American MTV network for trademark infringement when the Hungarian version of the music channel was launched in 2007.

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The teens later sued, with MTV later apologizing and ordering the segment's removal.

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MTV received significant criticism from Italian American organizations for Jersey Shore, which premiered in 2009.

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The controversy was due in large part to the manner in which MTV marketed the show, as it liberally used the word "guido" to describe the cast members.

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MTV responded by issuing a press release which stated in part, "The Italian American cast takes pride in their ethnicity.

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In December 2016, MTV online published a social justice-oriented New Year's resolution-themed video directed towards white men.

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The video was then reuploaded to their channel, with MTV claiming the new video contained "updated graphical elements".

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In 1992, MTV started a pro-democracy campaign called Choose or Lose, to encourage over 20 million people to register to vote, and the channel hosted a town hall forum for then-candidate Bill Clinton.

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In recent years, other politically diverse programs on MTV have included True Life, which documents people's lives and problems, and MTV News specials, which center on very current events in both the music industry and the world.

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MTV worked with P Diddy's "Citizen Change" campaign, designed to encourage young people to vote.

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Additionally, MTV aired a documentary covering a trip by the musical group Sum 41 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, documenting the conflict there.

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MTV is aligned with Rock the Vote, a campaign to motivate young adults to register and vote.

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In 2012, MTV launched MTV Act and Power of 12, its current social activism campaigns.

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MTV Act focuses on a wide array of social issues, while Power of 12 was a replacement for MTV's Choose or Lose and focused on the 2012 US presidential election.

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In 2016, MTV continued its pro-democracy campaign with Elect This, an issue-oriented look at the 2016 election targeting Millennials.

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In 1985, MTV saw the introduction of its first regular sister channel, VH1, which was originally an acronym for "Video Hits One" and was designed to play adult contemporary music videos.

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The first channel was MTV Desi, launched in July 2005, dedicated towards Indian Americans.

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The third was MTV K, launched in June 2006 and targeted toward Korean Americans.

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However, the rebranded MTV Classic had few viewers, and declined quickly to become the least-watched English-language subscription network rated by Nielsen at the end of 2016.

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From 2006 to 2007, MTV operated an online channel, MTV International, targeted to the broad international market.

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MTV explained, "While technology has made it way easier for artists to produce and distribute their own music on their own terms, it hasn't made it any simpler to find a way to cut through all the Internet noise and speak directly to all of their potential fans.

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