I Want My (Wireless) MTV


MTV Networks announced a series of new wireless initiatives at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Friday.

The programmer said it will launch third-generation video-programming services with Verizon Wireless in conjunction with the February launch of that cellular carrier’s broadband “EV-DO” service.

With content from VH1 and Country Music Television, the new service marks the first third-generation wireless-music-entertainment programming available for users in the United States, MTVN said.

MTVN services including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1 and CMT will also create made-for-mobile programming for the new Verizon service, with “bite-sized” nuggets from series such as VH1’s Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer.

And MTVN is expanding its involvement with music ring tones for cell phones by launching “Made Hear,” an original franchise offering exclusive ring tones developed specifically for mobile by some of the industry’s hottest producers and artists, as well as by flagship network MTV: Music Television.

VH1 was not left behind on the ring-tone front: The network launched a direct-to-consumer mobile-content storefront, offering thousands of popular ring tones and a collection of original, exclusive pop-culture wallpaper images.

Beginning Friday, consumers will be able to purchase ring tones and images online (ringtones.vh1.com) or directly from their handsets.

And Comedy is adding a little humor to users’ cellular experiences with its “Joke of the Day” text-messaging service.

Users can receive a new joke every weekday directly from the network’s writers by sending a text message (“joke”) to a short code (“22565”).

“Consumers are increasingly incorporating wireless content into their daily lives, and MTV Networks will extend our reputation for creating compelling programming into the wireless world in even bolder new ways,” CEO Judy McGrath said in a prepared statement.

“This passionate, mobile generation is thirsty for content created just for them and accessible on all platforms and, with these new initiatives, we will be providing them with branded wireless entertainment they cannot find anywhere else,” she added.